28 October 2007

Community Book Store and the Community

Park Slope is home to dozens of writers, most famously Paul Auster. Yet, the neighborhood has never had a wealth of independent book stores. The Community Book Store has long been the primary flag-bearer of the literary character of the area.

Now that tiny shop on Seventh Avenue is in danger, according to a report in the New York Times. The bank that in 2001 fronted new owner Catherine Bohne a loan has begun foreclosure proceedings. To save the store, Bohne and a real estate investor named David Sweeny worked out a plan in which up to 49 percent ownership in the store is being offered to to a group of people willing to put up at least $10,000 apiece. She's netted six so far, including actor John Turturro. She needs a dozen more. I'd give her !0 grand if I had it.

The Community Book Store is one of the businesses that makes Park Slope Park Slope: over-educated, supercilious and a bit haughty yes, but also well-read, artistic, thoughtful and liberal-minded. I remember visiting the shop shortly after 9/11 and being struck by the committed, concerned conversations going on between people in the stacks. If it goes, the nabe's soul would suffer a serious blow. So, locals, if you haven't $10,000, then at least go down there and by a dozen books.

1 comment:

detroit dog said...


I moved from Park Slope 10 years ago after living there for 13 years. (Low rent sublet ran out.) The few times that I've returned for short visits have been heartbreaking. I loved the Community Bookstore, and seeing it there seemed to hold some promise of the old neighborhood intact. Barnes & Noble moved in just before I moved out. It was such a sweet community and felt so very neighborly. The people at Palma Chemists knew me by name and even delivered my meds to me at home when I was sick! The guys at Mr. Falafel would give my dog free lamb! Every time I long for NY, I long for Park Slope.

So much nostalgia for something just slipping out of existence. Perhaps I moved out just in time.