Ever since word got out earlier this summer that much-loved neighborhood store St. Mark's Bookshop was struggling to stay afloat in the world of Kindles and iPads, lit-lovers have been rallying to save the independent bookstore...and it might actually be working.
First came the petition, started by a member of the Cooper Square Committee, asking Cooper Union (the building's landlord) to cut the store a rent break. It currently has 29,409 signatures, including some big names like Jonathan Safran Foer. This past weekend, neighborhood blog Jeremiah's Vanishing New York and the Village Voice, among others, urged people to buy a book from the store, in a "campaign of unbridled optimism." And they did! Jeremiah said that the store raked it in this weekend, and we spoke to co-owner Terry McCoy to confirm.
"We had a very good weekend—it was extremely busy," said McCoy, who's been pleasantly surprised by the outpouring of neighborhood support. "We're trying to come back to Cooper and show them that we're important to the community. The petition has been amazing—it really represents the enormous amount of support for the bookstore." McCoy says the store plans to hear back from Cooper Union by the end of this week about the rent reduction, but in the meantime, get over to East 9th Street and pick up the store's top sellers before they run out: Jennifer Egan's A Visit From The Goon Squad and Patti Smith's Just Kids.