Surging Rents Force Booksellers From Manhattan


Literary City, Bookstore Desert
The rising cost of doing business in Manhattan is driving out many of its remaining bookstores, threatening the city’s sense of self as the center of the literary universe.
“How can Manhattan be a cultural or literary center of the world when the number of bookstores has become so insignificant?” he asked. “You really say, has nobody in city government ever considered this and what can be done about it?”


NYT has a related "Room for Debate" piece - How Can Bookstores Stay Alive?

Six people give responses on solutions to the problem. One specifically invokes libraries.

Form Partnerships With Libraries

If the price of rent (I assume commercial and residential properties) is going up, while the number of bookstores is going down, that means those people don't value a bookstore being in their neighborhood. I was also assume most people in Manhattan order most of their books from Amazon or B&N online. I think you can get stuff from Amazon delivered same day in Manhattan.

You just don't get it.

It's not pushing out bookstores, it's pushing out any store or business that can't justify that position. If you can't make enough money doing what you do there it doesn't matter what you sell or do. You can't maintain it.
People could love you but if they are not selling enough (especially at enough of a margin) they can't keep going. As with many things it is a business not a public service. (Lack of libraries is another issue!). Why should building owners accept that when there are others that will come in and take over the space instead? You might hate another coffee or clothes shop but they will sell enough stock to pay their bills.
Maybe there is a need for a philantropist land/building owner to give space for poor businesses? A modern Carnegie with pop up bookshops.

Of course it's great to have bookshops round every town/city etc and the world would be a worse place without them but without enough customers in those locations why do some people expect bookstore are supposed to be immune?

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