While Left Bank definitely catered to the refined book collector, the shop had something for broke students, and everyone between the two.As Left Bank noted on their Facebook page, “Our books range in price from to 00+.” For a time, business In 2009, after that rent had gone up precipitously, Herzinger was told by his landlord that he wouldn’t even be given the opportunity to submit to price gauging– there would be no renewal of his lease at the shop’s original West 4th street location, which mag described as a place so crammed with thousands upon thousands of books, that it was almost as if they were “crawling up the walls,” where “someone could enjoy being lost and find the stories of a likewise truant mind.” Left Bank announced that it would close by the end of January.
Things were going to be difficult, but it seemed to everyone that Left Bank had a new lease on life, and a lease that wasn’t too far away, either.
The place was in disarray, and guessing he could do a better job of running it, Herzinger gave the shop a makeover and rechristened it Left Bank Books.
Herzinger restocked the store, jamming it with a large selection of first editions, signed copies, and rare books.
It’s no secret that book purveyors are struggling for a similar set of reasons not only in Greenwich or East Village, but across the downtown area, and all over the country.
And yet the end of Left Bank was especially disappointing in part because of the shop’s unusual resilience to closure.
It was signed “the Freaks of LBB.” Considering that when the owners vacated the storefront on 8th avenue yesterday, they were joining St.Mark’s Bookshop, Shakespeare & Co, and other bygone literary landmarks RIP’ing it up in independent bookstore heaven, the Left Bank’s sign-off was actually something of an understatement.Over the years, a series of owners would simply not let the shop die, refusing to let the “neighborhood institution”– as Margarita Danielian, the shop’s bookkeeper and administrative head, called it– disappear.in a 2009 article, Kim Herzinger– a New York newbie who’d just moved to the city after retiring from his position teaching literature at a Mississippi college– first got into the book business just a few years prior in 2005 when he’d stumbled into a struggling, but longstanding (since 1992) neighborhood book shop called Bookleaves on West 4th street.A few weeks back, the owners of Left Bank Books took to social media to announce that after “nearly 24 years in business” they’d be closing shop.“It’s a familiar story by now: the costs of maintaining a brick-and-mortar used and rare bookshop in Greenwich Village are simply no longer tenable,” read the post.