Saving A Book Store, With Other People’s Money

The Huffington Post reports on the deal between Cooper Union and the St. Mark’s Bookstore to keep the store open.


While the story is played as feel good story, I don’t agree.


It’s bad enough that the deal between Cooper Union, a non-profit educational institution, which provides a free college education to over 900 students and the bookstore has Cooper Union reducing the rent the store pays from $20,000/month to $17,500/month and forgiving a loan of $7,500. It was reported earlier this week that Cooper Union is facing its’ own money problems and this won’t help.


But what really annoys me is this from the Post story –


Longtime patrons of the store rallied and the Cooper Square Committee, a local community organization, started an online petition called "Save St. Mark's Bookshop From Cooper Union" that gained traction quickly. Writer Salman Rushdie and Paris Review editor Lorin Stein wrote missives in support of the shop.


As of Thursday morning during the press conference, 44,075 people have signed the petition.

If the 44,075 wanted to save the store, each of them could have bought one additional, relatively cheap, book. Let’s say for $15. That would have provided the store with $661,125 or enough to pay the $20,000 rent for 2 years and 9 months. If a few of the 44,000 couldn’t afford the 15 bucks, maybe Salman Rushdie could have bought a book a month!