The Villager checks in with Third Avenue literary standby St. Mark’s Bookshop, which has been keeping East Villagers in fiction and criticism for 34 years. The recession and the rise of e-books have hurt book stores around the country, but many New York shops have escaped the worst of it. Not so St. Mark’s, which laid off all of its part-timers and cut back the hours of full-timers back in October.
Manager David Russo explains that the shop is sitting on some valuable real estate, which makes it vulnerable. Sales are down, and customers are no longer willing to wait for the store to restock—if they can’t find a book they want, they’ll just buy it in digital form. So far, the shop has managed to survive, but its future is in jeopardy. “I wouldn’t say it’s merely a little tight, but I wouldn’t say we’re planning on closing the store,” Russo told the Villager. “That’s not the plan right now, but that is a possibility, I would have to say.” [Racked]