Some amazing news is coming to the noble bibliophiles of New York City.
As an avid reader and writer, one of the great disappointments of my career as a journalist has been witnessing the slow decline of all of my favorite book stores. Over the past decade, the rise of e-books and a decline in interest in reading from the general public has caused numerous iconic booksellers to shutter their doors for good, initiating what felt like the end of a great era of literature. Of course, I love my vast collection of digitized e-books that keep me company on my busy subway rides across the city, but few experiences have ever matched the euphoric coziness I experience relaxing in a physical book store enjoying my favorite novels.
Recently though, the economy has taken an unlikely turn in favor of the previously endangered bookstore. In a recent report from the New York times, experts revealed that over 300 bookstores have opened up across the country in recent years, after reaching the industry’s nadir during the peak of the pandemic. This seeming reversal of fortunes is welcome news to the city’s many book lovers, and your favorite reporters at What Now have been covering this trend for a while. Over the past year, we broke the news of the city’s hottest new book stores to open up in this year, including Yu And Me Books, and Thayer. Now though, one of the most well-established bookstore chains is reopening in a new location that many thought would be lost for good.
That’s right, Barnes & Noble is back! After closing down their Upper East Side location at 150 East 86th Street, many in the neighborhood wondered if they would ever see the store again. Thankfully, the company has just announced that they have secured a 10-year sublease for a new space in the neighborhood at 1556 Third Avenue. Occupying a total 16,744 square feet of space in the historic Agora Building, the new Barnes & Noble will be located on the corner of Third Avenue and East 87th Street, directly across the street from Whole Foods Market.
Barnes & Noble CEO James Durant said in a statement that “It was very sad to close in the depths of the pandemic and especially pleasing now to reopen with one that is so dramatically more attractive,” noting that “We take over a beautiful building with an old-style character with which it is a pleasure to work in creating the new bookstore,” also adding that “Bookselling is enjoying a wonderful renaissance, nowhere more so than NYC.”
According to Newmark, the new Barnes & Noble is expected to be operational some time around Spring 2023. For more information, you can follow Barnes & Noble on Instagram.