The publishing industry’s own struggle is no secret, but since 2009 when Left Bank moved, tablets have become wildly popular, something that dealt an even greater blow to the printed word.
It was signed “the Freaks of LBB.” Considering that when the owners vacated the storefront on 8th avenue yesterday, they were joining St.
Mark’s Bookshop, Shakespeare & Co, and other bygone literary landmarks RIP’ing it up in independent bookstore heaven, the Left Bank’s sign-off was actually something of an understatement.
Over the years, a series of owners would simply not let the shop die, refusing to let the “neighborhood institution”– as Margarita Danielian, the shop’s bookkeeper and administrative head, called it– disappear.
in a 2009 article, Kim Herzinger– a New York newbie who’d just moved to the city after retiring from his position teaching literature at a Mississippi college– first got into the book business just a few years prior in 2005 when he’d stumbled into a struggling, but longstanding (since 1992) neighborhood book shop called Bookleaves on West 4th street.
A few weeks back, the owners of Left Bank Books took to social media to announce that after “nearly 24 years in business” they’d be closing shop.
“It’s a familiar story by now: the costs of maintaining a brick-and-mortar used and rare bookshop in Greenwich Village are simply no longer tenable,” read the post.
The place was in disarray, and guessing he could do a better job of running it, Herzinger gave the shop a makeover and rechristened it Left Bank Books.
It’s no secret that book purveyors are struggling for a similar set of reasons not only in Greenwich or East Village, but across the downtown area, and all over the country.
And yet the end of Left Bank was especially disappointing in part because of the shop’s unusual resilience to closure.