Iconic bookshops Shakespeare & Co and Strand in dire straits

Strand bookshop, New York

With Strand in New York and Shakespeare & Co in Paris, two of the most iconic bookshops in the world are in danger of disappearing. Because of the corona crisis, customers are staying away.


Call for help

Strand in New York is best known for its enormous supply of second-hand books. But because of the corona crisis there are far fewer tourists. Moreover, a store like Strand is heavily dependent on lectures and events. In a normal year, Strand organises around four hundred of those, writes De Standaard.

When the bookstore was starting to get into difficulties, owner Nancy Bass Wyden called out for help. That call did not miss its effect, because 10,000 online orders were received in one day. For many New Yorkers, the store is a real cultural institution that must not disappear under any circumstances.

English-language bookshop Shakespeare & Co in Paris also got into trouble because of corona. The store opened its doors in 1919 and is particularly popular with tourists, but since the outbreak of the pandemic, sales have fallen by 80%. Like Strand, the bookstore called out to its customers not to abandon the store. In the meantime, the number of online orders has risen sharply again.