Owing $158,000 in back rent to a formidable landlord—Columbia University—independent book store Morningside Bookshop will close tomorrow. Owner Peter Soter, who opened the bookshop on Broadway & West 114th five years ago, told the Columbia Spectator earlier this month that while Columbia was "very supportive, and very helpful," he just couldn't make enough money to stay open. Soter put up a letter to the community in the window: "We wanted to be the little bookstore that could. We couldn't." The NY Times chronicles the farewells the bookshop has been receiving, plus some of the economic realities. Some residents feel Columbia could have done more, some have offered a total of $68,000 in "unsolicited donations" to keep the store open. One teacher said, "One of the reasons I lived on the Upper West Side is that it has a sense of being a vital neighborhood. A neighborhood bookstore becomes part of you. I love that bookstore. It’s not like losing a finger. It’s like losing an arm."
Beloved Morningside Heights Book Store Prepares To Close
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