Word Up’s extension in The New York Daily News

Washington Height’s Word Up bookstore gets yet another extension to November
Thursday, September 29, 2011

Washington Heights residents just want to read books – and have a place to hang out.

Locals will be able to do both now that the popular Word Up bookstore has been granted its second extension until the end of November, organizers announced this week.

“I’m really relieved,” said volunteer Veronica Liu, who runs the community bookstore on Broadway near W. 175th St.

“We’re here for everyone here and I think that comes through. It’s an open community space.”

Local rapper Nesio looks through the books at Word Up, in Washington Heights. (Craig Warga/News)

But in addition to being a community space that has hosted literary events and performances by more than 200 local artists, the space is also popular among book consumers – even in an age of Kindles, iPads and Nooks.

“We’ve sold over a thousand books, new and used,” said Liu, adding that they also sell books by local authors, who get 100% of the profit.*

Liu believes the massive book sales were a good sign, especially since a bulk of the sales were during the “dead of summer.”

On strong days, the volunteer-run bookstore with limited hours may sell anywhere from 20 to 40 books, which Liu believes defies the notion that “people don’t read books.”

“This [bookstore] can only help to keep defying that,” she said.

“A lot of kids come in to read, too…People want to be able to go somewhere and have a moment. We’re really glad we have the chance to do that.”

The “pop-up” bookstore, an initiative of the Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance, was initially just a one month-long space that was donated by owner Vantage Properties.

After the month-long period from June to July expired, the bookstore was allowed to stay open until the end of September.

Now that the bookstore has been given another two months, Liu and other organizers are focusing on keeping it around permanently – either at the current location or somewhere else in the neighborhood.

“There’s been a real movement to keep us around,” she said.

In the meantime, Liu said, they have plans to expand the kids’ programming and the store’s collection of Spanish language books.


*The donation of 100% profits to authors based in Washington Heights and Inwood lasts through September 30, 2011.


2 responses to “Word Up’s extension in The New York Daily News

  1. r u still open and what r yr hours? I can’t find any updates from u & I’m not on twitter. thx,

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