Is Book Culture in Danger of Closing?

  Last modified on February 6th, 2020

According to the owner of the beloved UWS and toy store, Book Culture may be closing. On the evening on June 24th, Chris Doeblin, the owner and operator, sent out an alarming email to Book Culture’s customers. The e-mail stated that their  “4 stores are in danger of closing soon”, and that they “need financial assistance or investment on an interim basis to help”.

Doeblin went on to say that “in spite of the fact that business has been good and we are widely supported and appreciated”, they still need assistance. Book Culture has been in business for over 22 years. There are three Book Culture stores on the Upper West Side and one in Long Island City.


In Doeblin’s open letter  to customers, he called to the government, as well as customers for assistance. “If you run the city or the state or if you have the means to assist”, he says.

Additionally, Doeblin noted the impact of bookstores and publishing on New York City’s culture. “Publishing and bookselling have long been a significant part of New York City’s cultural and economic foundation”, he says.  Continuing, he mentions how  “Book Culture does a lot more for our communities…” The store has taken an “empty storefront” and “turned it into a wonderful community asset that transforms a neighborhood”.

Community Impact

“Companies like Book Culture, that are entwined with and dedicated to their communities, offer a better way forward”, he says.  This e-mail is reminiscent of larger issues that Upper West Siders fear – beloved stores closing and a loss of community culture.

Recently, Upper West Siders banded together with the goal of keeping beloved stores in business. After a recent scare with beloved bookstore Westsider books nearly closing  many hope to prevent this in the future.

There is no GoFundMe as of now, but Doeblin has asked that customers begin “calling and emailing and writing to the local city council member where you live and the mayor and governor” if they’d like to help.

Doeblin also posted a message about the situation on Book Culture’s Facebook page – as well as this video:


The easiest way to help would be to do some shopping at one of their stores.

Here are Book Culture’s locations:

  • 450 Columbus Avenue, between 81st and 82nd Streets
  • 536 West 112th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam
  • 2915 Broadway, at 114th Street

If you want to learn more about the business, here’s Book Culture’s website.

Other local business owners who have recently asked for help include the owners of Beacon Paint and Hardware and Whispers Restaurant & Bar. And the future of Paper House still seems to be up in the air.

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