St. Mark's Bookshop
St. Mark's Bookshop was an independent book store, established in 1977 in New York City's East Village neighborhood. It was the oldest independent book store in Manhattan owned by the original owners.  The shop, run by proprietors Bob Contant and Terry McCoy, specialized in cultural and critical theory, graphic design, poetry, small presses, and film studies—what the New York Times called "neighborhood-appropriate literature." It featured periodicals and journals, including foreign titles, and included a section on anarchists. The store was named after St. Mark's Place, where it was originally located.  St. Mark's closed on February 28, 2016. 
Past employees of St. Mark's Bookshop include artist Wade Guyton, poet Ron Kolm, and writer-performer Julie Klausner.   Previous to founding St. Mark's Bookshop, owners Bob Contant and Terry McCoy both worked at 8th Street Books and also at East Side Books. 
Independent bookstores have a long history in New York. Other examples include The Strand, Westsider, powerHouse, BookCourt, McNally Jackson, Shakespeare & Co, WORD, Longitude, Bluestockings, and Housing Works.   These indie stores and small chains have been feeling competitive pressure from the larger chains, internet-based booksellers, and digital media.  In an attempt to be competitive with electronic media, St. Mark's and OR Books engaged in a joint venture where OR Books sold their electronic media via the St. Mark's website. 
In 2011, St. Mark's Bookshop began to have financial problems, due to the high rent. An online petition, started by a patron of the establishment, asking that the store's landlord, Cooper Union, reduce the rent, garnered over 40,000 signatures.   In August, 2012, they raised over $24,000 in an online funding drive.  Cooper Union had been beset by financial woes of its own. The school, which had historically been tuition-free, started charging tuition in the fall of 2014 to make up for lost endowment income. 
In May 2014, the store announced plans to move from 31 Third Avenue to a smaller space at 126 E. Third St; their new landlord was the New York City Housing Authority.  Declining sales over the years made the store unable to afford the rent at the Third Avenue location.  An auction was held to raise funds to cover moving expenses. 
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