By Carol Tannenhauser
Dorian Thornley, the owner of Westsider Books on Broadway and 80th Street, was in the store Tuesday as customers walked out with armfuls of books, some selling for as little as $1. Thornley had announced on Monday that the store was closing after 35 years.
If only sales were this brisk before he announced the store was going out of business, he would have been okay, Thornley thought out loud.
“I can’t do it anymore, can’t make the rent. Business is down. It was a very quiet year, a very slow year,” he said, on Tuesday, a day after announcing on his website that the store was closing.
“Is there anything that could keep you here?” WSR asked.
“I guess if somebody did a crowd funder and raised $50,000. I’d do it. Don’t see that happening though.”
Customers reminisced as they browsed the store on Tuesday.
“I’m sad. I’ve been coming here for many, many years,” said Linda Herskovic. “There’s always something for me. I keep hearing that all these smaller bookstores are opening and doing well. I’m not sure what’s happening. I know people in this neighborhood read.”
Others bemoaned the loss of small shops on the Upper West Side.
“Another delightful little corner spot is being wiped out, to join an ever-widening collection of empty storefronts in this neighborhood,” said James Libby. “It’s part of a sorrowful process.”