Community Comes Together to Save a Dying NY Bookstore

Community Comes Together to Save a Dying NY Bookstore

Over $50k was collected in 4 days through GoFundMe to save the last used bookstore on the Upper West Side in NY. Do you enjoy going to book stores?

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Scroll down to see how people across America voted.

Bookstores have taken a hit since the emergence of online retail, leading us to wonder if you can make a career of owning one. Their shelf lives appear to shorten each year, even with sales of printed books holding steady.

But that’s just part of evolution, and Dorian Thornley, owner of Westsider Rare & Used Books in New York City understands the struggles better than many.

Just last month, it appeared as though Thornley, who became co-owner back of the shop back in 2002, would have to close what has been dubbed “the last used book store on the Upper West Side” after 35 years of existence and an appearance in Woody Allen’s ‘Fading Gigolo’ because of slumping sales.

“We just can’t make it anymore,” Dorian Thornley, 50, said with a sigh. “It’s the end of an era.”

“It’s sad,” said patron Tom Parker, 69. “The stock is amazing and you can find some incredible deals.”

However, it wasn’t going to happen if the community surrounding the longtime book store had anything to say about it. On January 15, Bobby Panza, a 33-year-old Upper West Sider, launched a GoFundMe campaign to try and save the store, according to the New York Post.

“Sometimes you don’t realize how important something is to you until it’s on the precipice of disaster,” Panza said. “The community came together, it warms my heart,” he continued.

And by the evening of January 17, the fundraiser had collected $32,900. It currently sits at $53,900, surpassing the goal of $50,000 and giving new life to the store.

From planning on closing shop and liquidating his stock by selling the remaining books on Amazon to the ability to extend the lease and invest in new collections for the store, it’s a bit of a miracle for Thornley.

Going to a bookstore is one of the best past times around if you enjoy reading. There’s nothing like going into one, wandering around for an extended period, and next thing you know you have a few novels in your hand while the clock shows a time that is an hour later than when you last checked.

Some people- myself included- can go to a Barnes & Noble and kill an hour or two with a snap of a finger. It is a refreshing way to get away and be alone “in your zone.”

You will more-likely-than-not find something new each time- whether it be a book or books, an introduction to a new author, or meeting new people and striking up a conversation.

And the beauty of it is that in each store, especially the “used” ones, it feels like a new adventure with a different selection of things to choose from. Many will have different board games, records, figurines, movies, posters, graphic novels, and comic books on top of your standard books.

It just depends, not to mention there’s a certain purity about physically going into a store you don’t get with an e-book or having it shipped to you.

Sadly, it’s a tradition that is not as appreciated as it once was. Hopefully, book stores become retro and this all changes. Read more about it here.

Here’s how people on the Zip app are weighing in on this all over the country!

Over $50k was collected in 4 days through GoFundMe to save the last used bookstore on the Upper West Side in NY. Do you enjoy going to book stores?

53% My fav pastime
47% Prefer online
40% My fav pastime
60% Prefer online
78% My fav pastime
22% Prefer online

My fav pastime

Prefer online

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