The Bronx will soon have another sad fact: In a few months when Barnes and Noble at Bay Plaza closes its doors for the last time, our borough will be the ONLY one without a bookstore.
It is beyond comprehension how a county and borough with a population of almost 1.5 million can be so severely under served by bookstores and it’s not because folks aren’t reading.
Two years ago, thanks to Bronxite Amelia Zaino, we were able to keep it open when Barnes and Noble first announced it was closing.
The ensuing media storm surrounding the impending loss of the borough’s only bookstore due to the landlord not wanting to renew the lease and an online petition pressured the landlord and bookstore to strike a deal but they could only agree to two years.
Back then, inside sources revealed to us that Barnes and Noble had no intention of staying but due to the public pressure and potential public relations nightmare, they stayed put.
So where do we go from here?
We have a greater urgency to support local Bronxites such as Noëlle Santos and her mission to make The Lit. Bar, the independent bookstore she is seeking to open in our borough, a reality.
The Bronx reads, we write, we learn and its incumbent upon us to support the next business that will fill the void left by fleeing bookstores.