Just as some neighborhoods were spared and others hard hit by Hurricane Sandy, the same was true for bookstores. By Tuesday, Community Bookstore, Greenlight, BookCourt, and WORD in Brooklyn, N.Y., all reopened. But powerHouse Arena was not so lucky. According to the Daily News, it sustained between $25,000 and $50,000 worth of damage and does not have flood insurance.
Elsewhere in New York City, Mercer Street Books and both Book Culture stores were open, while children’s bookseller Bank Street Bookstore is closed. And the storm has played havoc with author events. Books & Books Westhampton canceled a lunch with Adriana Trigiani Sunday before the storm hit.
Connecticut was also a mixed bag. UConn Co-op in Storrs opened at 1 p.m. this afternoon, while Bank Square in Mystic is in the midst of cleaning up. The store got three to five inches during high tide and was forced to move its books to an upstairs apartment. “Rather a nightmare but opportunities abound,” the store posted on its Facebook page. “Books are ok. We did laugh at the craziness and mess of downtown however. It’s a mess!”
In Madison, R.J. Julia is closed today and hoping to reopen Wednesday. A post this morning offered a thank you to “firefighters, police officers, town officials, volunteers, and to the line crews who worked through the night in extremely dangerous conditions--including a wind gust up to 85mph—to keep us and our neighbors safe.”
Calls to several New Jersey booksellers went unanswered. They are likely closed along with [Words] Bookstore in Maplewood, which posted on Facebook that it would be closed both Monday and Tuesday.
Farther south in Baltimore, Md., The Ivy opened this afternoon. In nearby Washington, D.C. Politics & Prose also opened this afternoon. It canceled classes, but was hoping to move forward with its planned Tom Ricks event for The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to Today.
Although the storm and flight cancellations forced many author events to be canceled—not just fundraisers for the presidential candidates—there was some good news for bookstores. Betsy Detwiler, owner of Buttonwood Books & Toys in Cohasset, Mass., reported on the New England Children’s Booksellers Association Council listserv that a woman who missed her flight to London did her Christmas shopping there and spent $450. And if the shipping services get back on track, all booksellers who ordered Kobo devices should have them by the end of the week.
One other group affected by the storm was PW. The offices are closed today and e-mail is down.