December 31, 2006

The butler did it

My father sent me the sad but not surprising news that the Murder Ink bookstore on upper Broadway is closing today, New Year's Eve. I still have, tucked away somewhere, my black gun-shaped Murder Ink bookmark/business card from the original store on West 87th Street.

I also remember the Bar-B-Queen and the candy and nut shop, both of which were a few blocks away from where I grew up. I passed by both daily on my home from high school, and my late grandmother must have bought more than her weight in walnuts from the nut shop.

For those of you lucky to be graced with a nearby independent bookseller, and it's not something to be taken for granted, please give it your support.

(I think at least one of the articles linked above is of the pesky Times Select variety; if you want the article, email me offlist at farmschool at telus dot net and I'll send it along.)

Updated to add that I was sorry to hear today, this time from my mother, that Coliseum Books is next on the chopping block. I have fond memories of my father stacking my arms with the books on my summer reading list, and just sitting in the aisles looking through books to decide which to purchase. As the website notes,
Dear Friends,

Since opening our store on 57th Street in July of 1974, it has been our pleasure to bring you the best selection of new and backlist books. After closing that store in January 2002, when the lease expired, we searched long and hard for a suitable new location and thought we had found one here on 42nd Street. Business started more slowly than we had hoped but continued to build until this year, when increased competition from discount stores and book chain stores and the internet started to take its toll. We are now trying to hold on as best we can, and any support you can give will be much appreciated.

Just in time for the holidays we are starting to sell off our entire inventory. You can get great bargains as you choose your holiday gifts and help us at the same time. Shop early before the good titles are gone.

Thank you all for your loyal support..

George S. Leibson
Founding Partner

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