The New St. Marks Bookshop

Yesterday I was able to visit the new St. Marks Bookshop on 136 East 3rd Street. Here are some thoughts. The design was gorgeous and simple and accessible, but unlike the old store, it was somewhat hard to find the things. One obvious thing was the decrease in space; there is now less head room and floor space, and probably this meant less shelving space. The collection looked reduced as well. The minimalist design feels very comfortable to go about. I also sensed that the emphasis on genres have shifted as well. Books on sale were very obvious to find, whereas the journals, art books and poetry was less detectable. It felt like the architecture and art books were also too spread. But, all these may be because I haven’t roamed this new place ever before. I visited the old one almost weekly for years, especially in the 90’s and occasionally since then. This was definitely new bookshop. The new location ideal. It is across from a bike shop and near the Two Boots pizza. So, ample parking space and decent food. At the other end of the block there is both local and franchise coffee. It takes less than 15 minutes to cycle to the new St. Marks from Williamsburg, via the bridge. Not bad at all for one of the very few bookstores left in Manhattan from which you can buy Social Text, October and New Left Review, and where are Rebecca Solnit and Avita Ronell.

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