A long-standing Greenwich Village bookshop will close its doors next month, though its beloved bibliophile owners will continue to sell books at pop-up locations throughout the city.
Carolyn Epstein opened Biography Bookshop with her husband Charles Mullin in 1984. The store later moved to its current home on Bleecker Street, near Morton Street, and changed its name to bookbook.
Epstein said the pair decided to end their brick-and-mortar run after landlords raised the rent on their store at 266 Bleecker St.
"I’m 70 and my husband will be 70 next year, and we just want to move on a little bit, and do other things," she said.
The store will shut down on May 15, and Epstein said there will be more information about the final weeks. Bookbook was beloved by community members and patrons for its wall-to-wall shelves of works, from children’s novels to mysteries, and its smaller display of other books under its outdoor awning.
Epstein said that she was appreciative of all the support through the years, and said it was their mission to be a more down-to-earth and welcoming alternative to other bookstores.
"We wanted to bring in more than just the literary group," she said.
Epstein and her husband first opened their shop at Bleeker and 11th Street. As the original name indicated, the store launched with a focus on biographies, memoirs and similar genres, but it expanded to include other categories as it gained popularity.
In 2010, Marc Jacobs bought the space and turned it into Bookmarc — a posh boutique bookstore — so Epstein and Mullin moved their business down the block.
Despite losing their current brick-and-mortar location, Epstein said she and Mullin still plan to continue on in the book-selling business by setting up in pop-up locations throughout the city, including the Abingdon Square Farmers Market.
"My partner and I are not interested in selling online. That’s just boring," she said. "Selling on street is more fun. You get to be personal."