Shakespeare & Co. Owner Looking at Former Book Culture Space


Inside Shakespeare & Co. on 69th. Photo by Hila.

By Carol Tannenhauser

Dane Neller, CEO of Shakespeare & Co., an independently owned bookstore with two locations in NYC, including one at 69th and Broadway, confirmed that he is looking at the space formerly occupied by Book Culture on Columbus, presumably to open another Shakespeare & Co. The space is located between 81st and 82nd Streets.

“I can confirm that we are looking at the space,” Neller texted WSR.

That is all he would say, and Tim Quinlan of Walker Malloy, the landlord, previously said that he doesn’t discuss ongoing negotiations.

So, we turned to the bard himself, William Shakespeare, who had something to say for every occasion.

“The miserable have no other medicine, but only hope,” he wrote in Measure for Measure.

After the week we’ve had — between Book Culture and Fairway — it seems fitting.

Thanks to Upper West Sider for the tip.

NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 23 comments | permalink
    1. SamuelNYC says:

      Exciting news for the hood!

      • J. says:

        Wrong. Terrible news. The Shakespeare & CO of 69th has no independent bookstore spirit or soul. Looks like a pharmacy or something like that. It is quite dead. The landlord should ask Sarah McNally (McNally Jackson) or maybe the owners of Greenlight (Fort Greene) to occupy the place.

        This is so sad.

        • LG says:

          Maybe it doesn’t “look” independent (and what does that really look like anyway? Is that a measure of success?) But the folks at Shakespeare & Co are ten times nicer than the staff at Book Culture who always looked pained and uncomfortable in every interaction. Bring it on!

          • J. says:

            If you can’t see the difference between the NYC version of Shakespeare & Co and bookstores like McNally Jackson, Greenlight, Three Lives & Co, 192 Books and The Corner Bookstore (I still miss Book Court…), I feel sorry for you.

        • Lyriclark says:

          Hey J: lighten up man. What are you talking about? It’s a great place for coffee and browsing, reading and being neighborly.Not everything has to be the same and who actually cares about a bookstore in Fort Greene? If it doesn’t satisfy you, go elsewhere.

    2. UWSDrew says:

      Why would anyone still want a paper book?

      • David S says:

        “Why would anyone still want a paper book?”

        Hmm…
        My Kindle has run out of power on occasion. In 50 years of reading, I’ve never had a dead-tree style book do that.

        They look _much_ better on the bookshelf than does empty space. It’s also much easier for a visitor to browse your collection of books.

        You can do all kinds of things with a paper book that you can’t do with an eBook: lend it to whomever you want as many times as you want for as long as you want, sell it, give it away, donate it.

        • Bob says:

          I’m reminded of a story. An old man asks his son to hand him a magazine. The son says “pops, we don’t use paper magazines anymore, we use computers. Here, you can borrow my e-reader.” The old man says thank you, and slams the e-reader against the wall. “Got the spider,” he says, and hands it back.

      • J. says:

        Because we’re humans, not monkeys. The difference between humans and monkeys? Shakespeare, Rembrandt, Bach, Proust, Montaigne, Beethoven, Voltaire, Vermeer, Chekhov, Haydn, Caravaggio. Those who use social media, e-books and listen to pop music are just the new chimpanzees.

        • J. Fred Muggs III says:

          Hey! Don’t go insulting us chimpanzees!

          I just Googled, and it says: “….chimpanzees are incredibly intelligent: They work with tools, communicate … and are good problem-solvers.” (I cut out extra words to make it easier for youse to read it).

          AND us chimps don’t listen to music with words like ‘ooohoooohh, baby….oooh, baby, baby…..ooooohhhhh’

          Me? I give 3-bananas to Cole Porter, Gershwin, Sondheim.

      • lynn says:

        @UWS Drew, how do you feel about libraries?! : o

      • Peter Talbot says:

        When you order downloadable books at kindle, nook or audible the stores, the publishers and the government get an easily sortable public record of the books you buy. And you can only buy what these publishers purvey. They don’t go in much for out of print books (and ordering these in any way from the Lib of Congress leaves the same trail), or scholarly books, or reference books, or books in languages other than English. I am expending great energy in storing, filing and maintaining a family library for my extended family. Only classics in the fiction section, and as few paperbacks as I can get away with. I buy in cash at used bookstores, thrift stores, etc. as much as possible, or via ebay, craigslist, etc. At about 4500 volumes my collection is no doubt worth more than my house. I have a Kindle, BOOX and tolino shine but use them rarely. The Deutsche tolino rather more than the others. In short: it is a mark of the tech savvy to retain hardcopy in this instance.

      • Tuileries says:

        To conduct research, through the use of antiquarian, out of print—books. Most of the books I purchase are out of print. I could read scanned versions on line through Project Gutenberg, but I appreciate the look and feel of physical copies, and the history which comes with them—or the plates of engravings, print illustrations. Because the majority of the books I buy monthly, are 100 years old and older, my most frequently used source is Abe Books. Sometimes Alibris. These online stores are comprised of independent bookstores in the US and abroad, therefore I am simultaneously supporting independent booksellers. Westsider Books does, I have heard, sell through Abe Books along with its brick and mortar store. I would be happy to welcome Shakespeare & Co. at the space formerly occupied by Book Culture. I’ll say it—the atmosphere of the one on Broadway is classy. I would feel comfortable spending time there. The Book Culture store always felt reminiscent to me of a store I might find in the Bay Area, or Ashland, OR—it never felt particularly cosmopolitan to me. And I’m not a snob, I’m not interested in an elitist mind set; it just had that feel for me.

      • Tuileries says:

        With all due respect, if you do not understand why anyone would want a paper book, there may be scant reason to be concerned with bookstores.

      • Cj berk says:

        For the same reason we want an album with liner notes and art work or a CD with a booklet. Get it?

      • Steve B says:

        When you pay for an eBook (via the Amazon Kindle store, for example), you are generally not buying a copy of a book, you are buying a revocable license to the book. That is, one day you can wake up that Kindle eBook is just gone, and you have no legal recourse. This can and does happen. So, that’s a significant difference, especially if you take the long view.

    3. Ann L says:

      Love reading, choose paper. No. To electro Magnetic current waves exposure.

    4. Marcia Kaye says:

      Delighted we may have another bookstore to take up the deep hole Book Culture would leave, but Shakespeare & Co. leaves a bit to
      be desired: Every time I tried to buy a book in the 69th St. shop there were no copies in stock; one would have to be ordered and take a couple of weeks. No opportunity for browsing or impulse purchases. Wish owners could expand inventory before adding another space. Amazon has a large space in the Time Warner bldg., tho’ prices have to be set after cashier checks in w/ office central for currrent rate. Just not the same!

      • Anne Kveta Haack says:

        For what Shakespeare & Co. lacks in-store it often has in spades On Demand! I published my book Petal and Poultice through them, and it worked out really nicely.

    5. Cheap money makes for bad business decisions.

    6. Anonymous says:

      Why are some many people enamored with and in admiration of Shakespeare & Company?

      Shakespeare & Company’s resurgence and expansion is fueled by an eight million dollars plus investment, from Mr. K. Rupert MURDOCH through New Corp.

      How independent of a book store is Shakespeare & Company, if Shakespeare & Company is eight million dollars beholden to New Corp?