New York City’s Most Sustainable Bookstore

Electric Lit relies on contributions from our readers to help make literature more exciting, relevant, and inclusive. Please support our work by becoming a member today, or making a one-time donation here.
.

Charles Mysak looks a bit like Larry David but he certainly acts like him, complaining about the dogs and grackles that crap all over his store. It’s difficult to fend them off, though, considering his store is squatting on a section of a sidewalk on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

Mysak has been selling used books from the back of his Honda Civic for a little over a decade. He pulls in $100 a day and pays his “rent” in quarters, feeding $36 to the parking meter that marks his store’s address.

“In the old days, you could tie your horse to this, and no one would get a ticket,” he recently told the NY Post.

Mysak remains indignant. And wIth book stores closing across the country, maybe Mysak has the right idea by taking it to the street.

Below is a short documentary by NYU film student Alden Peters.

Click here for films from Peters.

***
— Benjamin Samuel is the Online Editor of Electric Literature. Because of his Larry-Davidian paranoia of bedbugs, he has trouble buying anything from the sidewalk.

More Like This

In Memory of Brazenhead, the Secret Bookstore That Felt Like a Magical Portal

Michael Seidenberg, who died this week, created a real-life space that was like walking into a book

Jul 12 - Helena Fitzgerald

Why Buying Books Will Not Save Our Beloved Bookstores

An independent bookshop owner explains why purchases alone can’t keep small stores afloat—and what to do instead

Oct 11 - Erin Bartnett

Brooklyn’s DIY Literary Spaces

An oral history of how Brooklyn readings, events, and literary festivals came together with nothing but can-do spirit

Aug 10 - Michael J Seidlinger
Thank You!