Shakespeare and Co. returns to UWS

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A buzz in the community about a new independent bookstore


  • Store window on Broadway. Photo courtesy of Shakespeare & Co.

  • Inside the new bookstore. Photo courtesy of Shakespeare & Co.

  • The “Espresso Book Machine” at the UWS store. Photo courtesy of Shakespeare & Co.

“Being small allows you to reach your customers better. I think employees like the fact they’re part of an independent bookstore.”

Dane Neller, CEO, Shakespeare & Co.

After more than 20 years of shuttering its doors on the Upper West Side, Shakespeare and Co. has returned to the neighborhood.

In 1996, Shakespeare closed its first store at 81st and Broadway, but the Saturday after Thanksgiving, the independent bookstore opened its third location in the city at 2020 Broadway. The new store, located between 69th and 70th Streets, is 3,000 square feet and features a cafe, Wi-Fi and a machine where customers can self-publish books.

Dane Neller, CEO of the company, said there is a buzz in the community about the new store.

“This was a very underserved area and we thought that we could serve that area again,” Neller said. “There’s still a very strong demand for people to go to bookstores.”

Neller feels that one of the reasons their store stands out amongst its competition is its “Espresso Book Machine,” which the company invented and patented a few years ago. It can make a book in three minutes and also provides authors an outlet to print books as well.

“I always believed that this would be the future for bookstores,” he remarked. “They [customers] love it,” Neller commented. “It means a small bookstore can have infinite inventory.”

Neller feels that the digitization of books, online booksellers and Amazon, will not have a negative effect on his company. He believes that Shakespeare is much more than a bookstore.

As a small independent bookstore, he explained, people feel at home there and it is a much more intimate setting than being at a big box store.

“I think being small allows you to reach your customers better,” Neller said. “I think employees like the fact they’re part of an independent bookstore.”

Shakespeare & Co. has an Upper East Side location near Hunter College at 939 Lexington Ave, between 68th and 69th Streets, and a location in Philadelphia. It’s also planning to open a West Village location at 450 Sixth Ave in spring 2019.

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