It’s rare when bookstores open. It’s rare to get any good news in this town about local businesses. And yet. Yesterday we heard that Shakespeare & Co. is opening two new stores in the city.
There will be one in Greenwich Village, in the spot long occupied by Jefferson Market (closed in 2008, turned into a Gristede’s, and then a luxury condo showroom). Another will come to the Upper West Side at 2020 Broadway, between 69th and 70th Streets. (None for the book-starved East Village?)
They are slated to open in the fall/winter of 2018.
I asked CEO Dane Neller a few quick questions.
Q: Downtown, we still miss the Broadway location near NYU (closed in 2014 and turned into a Foot Locker). Will the new shop on 6th and 11th Street have a similarly curated selection?
A: Yes, with more selection since it’s a larger store.
Q: With so many bookstores closing across the city, what’s the secret to surviving — and growing — in the current market?
A: Being community based; offering an intimate setting and literary cafe for customers to convene, socialize, and browse; providing a forum for self-expressions and creation with the Espresso Book Machine technology; and having a thoughtfully curated selection of books geared to the neighborhood patrons, with knowledgeable and friendly booksellers.
Q: So is it a myth that people are reading (and buying) fewer print books?
A: Absolutely. Printed books still represent over 75% of total industry sales.
At the Shakespeare & Co. uptown