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A beloved Greenwich Village bookstore is closing

Unoppressive Non-Imperialist Bargain Books has been operating on Carmine street for over 30 years.

Anna Rahmanan
Written by
Anna Rahmanan

Another day, another unfortunate closing that will forever change the city's cultural landscape. 

This time around, it's the iconic Unoppressive Non-Imperialist Bargain Books—which has been operating at 34 Carmine Street in Greenwich Village for over 30 years—that will be shuttering by the end of June due to (you guessed it) a rent hike, Patch first reported.

"I've been having fun all of these years, I'm not despondent," owner Jim Drougas told the outlet. "I'm actually kind of hopeful something is going to turn up. We've had a big impact and a lot of people have been very supportive." 

The bookstore has always been more than a local retail store. According to the New York Times, it was one of four Manhattan headquarters for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign back in 2016. Before that, in 2011, it housed the Occupy Wall Street library.

Alas, although a move away from its legendary location will clearly affect the sort of traffic that the store will benefit from, Drougas did reveal that he's looking to open up a new space elsewhere. Perhaps, he said, he might even share square footage with another business, which is exactly what he's done throughout the past 10 years alongside Carmine Street Comics.

"Even if we have to close, for now, I'm pretty determined to keep it going somewhere, somehow," Drougas said to Patch, mentioning that, although he hopes to stay in the Village, he's looking at other neighborhoods as well.

Customers who wish to help Drougas in his endeavor should watch out for a potential fundraiser page once a new location is selected. 

Speaking of said customers, the public's reaction to the imminent shuttering has been one of sadness, shock and surprise.

When the Instagram account @VanishingNY first posted about the bookstore's closing, followers took to the comment section to express their devastation. "The last bastion can't go down!" one user wrote. 

"This one really hurts," another one commented. 

"The last time I went there, there was one guy sitting with few lights on selling books for civil service jobs," a third one reminisced. "I've been going there for decades. Greed is killing this city."

Here's to hoping we'll soon see a new iteration of Unoppressive Non-Imperialist Bargain Books somewhere in New York.

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