Since 1977, New Yorkers have relied on indie stalwart St. Mark’s Bookshop for their zine, small press and hard-to-find theory needs; as well as for the store’s excellently curated (if somewhat cramped) reading series. But the Lower East Side institution, like many brick-and-mortar bookstores, is in dire financial straits: with book sales down, owners Bob Contant and Terry McCoy are facing the threat of closure unless they can talk Cooper Union into lowering St. Mark’s rent.

Last June, the Villager reported that over the past year, St. Mark’s has laid off almost all of its part-time workers and reduced full-time employee hours through New York’s shared work program. To maintain their own regular salaries, Contant told Bookforum that he and McCoy have been forced to draw from social security funds. While the owners will meet with Cooper Union landlords next Wednesday to renegotiate their rent, the story is already getting attention on Twitter: as of mid-afternoon Friday, an online petition to “Save St. Mark’s” (which you can sign here) had gathered over 2,600 signatures.

E-book founder Michael Stern Hart, courtesy of Boing Boing

Michigan-based sci-fi publisher Subterranean Press is incurring Shakespearean wrath—or at least, the wrath of angry Shakespeareans—after re-releasing Orson Scott Card’s interpretation of Hamlet featuring the aging king as a child molester.

Michael Stern Hart, the founder the e-book (they were invented in 1971!), died at the age of 64 at his home in Urbana, Illinois.

They look like pianos, sewing machines, and medieval torture devices: Slate rounds up a slideshow of vintage typewriters.

He probably won’t be helping San Franciscans decide where to eat, but Yelp reviewer Cormac M. will at least be giving fans of his Western gothic namesake something to discuss over dinner. Here, his review of the Heart Wine Bar in the Mission District:

Karl nodded toward the untouched mason jar of wine.
You best drink up son, he said.
The young drifter looked away. I can’t.
Yeah you can. Go on.
The boy went silent once more, turning to the window, to the city street wet with night fog. Somewhere, a train whistling

Knopf has changed the US release date for Julian Barnes's Man Booker Prize-nominated novel, Sense of an Ending, to this October—months ahead of the original 2012 pub date.

What would a BBC-style “American World Service” look like?

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