Book Culture Landlord in ‘Serious Negotiations’ With Other Bookstore Operators

Closed.

By Carol Tannenhauser

A bookstore may open on Columbus Avenue between 81st and 82nd Streets, but it won’t be Book Culture, according to Tim Quinlan, of Walker Malloy, the landlord.

“It is our full intent to find a bookstore to take the space, and we are currently having serious negotiations with a few strong operators,” Quinlan wrote to WSR.

He also took aim at Book Culture Co-owner Chris Doeblin’s account of the events leading to the closing of the neighborhood’s popular bookstore, which Doeblin related in long missives to the community.

“There are multiple inaccuracies out there in terms of what transpired,” Quinlin contended, adding that he does not comment on ongoing negotiations with prospective tenants.

Quinlan is not the only one Doeblin is at odds with; he’s also embroiled in a lawsuit with Book Culture on Columbus’s other co-owner, John “Rick” MacArthur, president and publisher of Harper’s Magazine. MacArthur is accusing Doeblin of mismanagement and misusing funds.

Chris Doeblin at a rally to save Book Culture earlier this month.

Chris Doeblin wrote the following to WSR:

“I take full personal responsibility for the rise and demise of Book Culture on Columbus. I did my best, I hope to have the opportunity to do it again. I am thankful to all involved. Let’s go New York!”

NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 19 comments | permalink
    1. Liifeoong UWS says:

      What is going on with the co-owner? Hmm.

      It would be cool if Shakespeare and Co would come back to the 80s.

      Oh. Maybe Murder Ink could come back?

    2. Pettifogging says:

      Bookstores in New York City are like restaurants…

    3. LKLA says:

      Unpaid rent totaling more than $100,000.

      Underpaid employees.

      92 loans averaging $8,152 each.

      Peter Porcino, an attorney for John MacArthur, the vice president of Harper’s Magazine who owns a minority stake in Book Culture on Columbus: “To the extent Doeblin is trying to raise money for this store that he has no other source of funds is false. We are offering to lend him money, so he shouldn’t be saying to the public, ‘I have no other way to finance my store.’ He’s trying to play some sort of martyr card…it’s all the elite that’s bringing him down, when I think it’s his mismanagement and his ability to properly run a business.”

    4. Zanarkand says:

      Hopefully an experience filled children’s book store opens in the space. Or maybe one of those new Camp children’s stores. Not sure there is enough space for that there. With adults moving to e-readers even recently real books have made a come back, children’s books almost always have to be tangible.

      • Suzyik says:

        Have you been to Books of Wonder on 84 St between Broadway and Amsterdam? Great kid’s book store. Very close to the former Book Culture site.

        • Zanarkand says:

          My wife goes at least once a week for our kids and now we also go there to pick up books as gifts for kids birthday parties in the area instead of toys. I used to go to the location near Union Square before as well. It is a great store.

    5. Scott Schaffer says:

      At the risk of being snarky, why does this story continue to receive so much coverage. I get it, bookstores are important, especially independents(I am an avid reader). However it seems as if this is a simple case of poor management. The bookstore failed, it tried to raise capital to survive, and it failed again. Happens every day, in every way, with many businesses. Can’t we just move on already?

    6. Violet says:

      Would be great to see McNally Robinson as the replacement bookstore.

    7. Reader Writer says:

      Please someone bring in a cozy, old-New York bookshop with a cafe and comfy reading chairs/seating areas, and booksellers who actually love readers. And readings/events! We’ll reward you, we promise. There are no n’hood places that actually feel authentic/inviting.

    8. LOIS SCHNEIDER says:

      BOOK CULTURE WAS A GREAT BOOK STORE. I DOUBT ANY OTHER STORE THAT MIGHT REPLACE IT WILL BE AS RESPONSIVE TO THE NEEDS AND TASTES OF UPPER WEST SIDERS AND ITS MANY ACADEMICS! FROM MY PERSPECTIVE CHRIS DOEBLIN WAS ALWAYS SUPER HELPFUL– RE THE WELCOMING WAY THE STORE WAS RUN, THE CHOICE OF BOOKS ON ITS SHELVES AND BECAUSE HE AND STAFF WERE ALWAYS SUPER HELPFUL RE BOOK ORDERS FOR COURSES. I HOPE HE LANDS IN ANOTHER BOOKSTORE..HOPEFULLY ON THE UWS!

    9. Alexander Panowko says:

      lets get the Strand in there

    10. lisa says:

      As much as I adore Book Culture, it was just bad business to lease a space this expensive. There are plenty of more reasonable, great spaces available nearby.

      • Anonymous says:

        I really wanted to love Book Culture and shopped there several times. But, each time, the experience was disappointing. The staff had no knowledge of the books that were being marketed, nor did they have any sound recommendations. I usually got “oh this seems to be popular” or “I haven’t read it but people say it’s good”. Mostly, they seemed very indifferent to helping customers. Sad to say but I got much better results at Barnes & Noble. By they way, there a a couple of very helpful and knowledgeable workers there.