Name: Greenlight Bookstore
Location: 686 Fulton Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217
Description: Walking into Greenlight Bookstore is like walking back into the 1920’s. The storefront windows are outlined with a rich green trim, which extends over the top and creates arcs in the frosted glass panels above. The inside of the store is spacious, and despite the large display tables dotting the floor, there is still plenty of room to browse. Books are tightly packed on shelves, and some have been stacked sideways to create more room. This arrangement creates a seamless, eye-catching display of colors and shapes to draw a reader’s attention. The center bookshelf maintains the 1920’s feel with large, white support structures that begin to arc over the narrow passageways leading towards the back of the store. The further back you travel, the more there is to discover. The store itself almost feels endless, until you loop around and find yourself back in the main section.
What I Like: The atmosphere of this bookshop is amazing. In part, the unique structure and layout of the store contributes to this atmosphere, but the atmosphere is also enhanced by just how quiet the store is. Despite being filled with people, the store did not feel crowded, and there was very little chatter. The quietness in combination with the seamless flow off books and seemingly section-less shelves creates a serene browsing environment in which it is easy to loose track of time. The store also sells a great deal of New York City and New York State based books and items all laid out on the inside of one of the store windows. Next to that, is a small corner filled with fliers and local advertisements, demonstrating Greenlight Bookstore’s interest in the community. In addition to supporting the local community, Greenlight Bookstore also supports up and coming writers by showcasing and selling a selection of works that have been independently published.
How they are combatting the pressures of the digital age: Greenlight Bookstore is combating the pressures of the digital age through a mix of different methods. Perhaps the most effective method is through the various community partnerships they have formed. On the home page of their website is an option to “Find Your School,” which leads the viewer to a page that shows all of the local schools Greenlight Bookstore has partnered with in the past as well as the events they have co-hosted.
They also have a strong partnership with the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) and run a kiosk in two locations during BAM events. BAM members also receive a discount on BAM-related merchandise purchased through Greenlight Bookstore. In addition to these partnerships, Greenlight Bookstore has several book groups and a paid subscription service called “The First Editions Club” in which subscribers receive a recently published book each month. Another interesting feature of Greenlight Bookstore’s website is the link to their podcast and their Tumblr page. Their podcast covers material such as author discussions, book reviews, and current releases. Their Tumblr page is a blog that covers material such as progress updates on the renovations of their soon-to-open second location, general event updates, and user generated content such as readers who submitted photos of their bookshelves.