Documenting New York’s Last Indie Booksellers

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Documenting New York’s Last Indie Booksellers
Documenting New York's Last Indie Booksellers
Documenting New York’s Last Indie Booksellers | James Drougas at Unoppressive Non-Imperialist Bargain Books, Greenwich Village, Manhattan, 2017

Documenting New York’s last indie booksellers is a photo series created by photographers Franck Bohbot and author Philippe Ungar. The two decided to join forces in order to create the “We Art NY Indie Booksellers” project aiming at turning these stories into a book.

With book sales in decline for the past decades, these indie booksellers are a dying species, especially in a city lie New York.

“When you look at their portraits, you could think that they are lonely or alone, but not at all,” Franck Bohbot told My Modern Met. “The books and the colors are everywhere around them. They are their best friends—or enemies—to talk with and I wanted this series being colorful like they are. They are like little museums of their own neighborhoods.”

Corey Farach at Bluestockings, Lower East Side, Manhattan, 2017
Corey Farach at Bluestockings, Lower East Side, Manhattan, 2017
Matt Winn at Molasses Books, Bushwick, Brooklyn, 2017
Matt Winn at Molasses Books, Bushwick, Brooklyn, 2017
Heather O'Donnell at Honey and wax books, Gowanus, Brooklyn, 2017
Heather O’Donnell at Honey and wax books, Gowanus, Brooklyn, 2017
Nick Chase at The Corner Bookstore, Upper East Side, Manhattan, 2017
Nick Chase at The Corner Bookstore, Upper East Side, Manhattan, 2017
Joseph Koch at Joseph Koch's Comic Book Warehouse, Sunset Park, Brooklyn, NY, 2017
Joseph Koch at Joseph Koch’s Comic Book Warehouse, Sunset Park, Brooklyn, NY, 2017
Michael Seidenberg at Brazenhead Books, Yorkville, Manhattan, 2017.
Michael Seidenberg at Brazenhead Books, Yorkville, Manhattan, 2017.
Janifer P. Wilson at Sisters Uptown Bookstore, Harlem, Manhattan, 2017
Janifer P. Wilson at Sisters Uptown Bookstore, Harlem, Manhattan, 2017

Talking to Corey Farach from Bluestockings in Manhattan’s Lower East Side, Philippe Ungar realized that all booksellers are going through more or less the same thing. “I was impressed by all of them, they are so different and at the same time looking for the same thing: providing books and through books a generous vision of sharing culture. But, I remember Corey Farach from Bluestockings talking about people who cannot afford to buy a forty-dollar paperback, saying something like: ‘It is totally understandable, please take a seat and read it in the bookstore!’ It speaks a lot about the spirit of the indie booksellers even if they have to run their business and sell books too!”

Jennifer Fischer, Street Bookseller, St. Marks Place, East Village, Manhattan, 2017
Jennifer Fischer, Street Bookseller, St. Marks Place, East Village, Manhattan, 2017
Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks, East Village, Manhattan, 2017
Bonnie Slotnick Cookbooks, East Village, Manhattan, 2017
Peter Miller at Freebird bookstore, Red Hook, Brooklyn, 2017
Peter Miller at Freebird bookstore, Red Hook, Brooklyn, 2017
Joseph Koch's Comic Book Warehouse, Sunset Park, Brooklyn, NY, 2017
Joseph Koch’s Comic Book Warehouse, Sunset Park, Brooklyn, NY, 2017
Veronica Liu at Word Up Community Bookshop, Washington Heights, Manhattan, 2017.
Veronica Liu at Word Up Community Bookshop, Washington Heights, Manhattan, 2017.

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