Bookstores after Sandy

After Hurricane Sandy swept through the Northeast, some bookstores were left all but untouched; others face major damage. This is a partial list of bookstores that were in the path of the devastating storm, with notes on how they’re doing.

Powerhouse Arena in Brooklyn’s DUMBO (pictured) suffered serious damage. Although the staff prepared for flooding by elevating some books and other stock, the water rose to an incredible 28 inches inside the store. The glass front door is cracked and shattering. The owners don’t know when they’ll be able to open.

Melville House, a bookstore and publisher also in DUMBO, was unharmed. The publisher has a 50%-off hurricane special on e-books; use the discount code “stormy weather.”

Greenlight Books in Fort Greene in Brooklyn: Has power, is warm and dry, is open regular hours. Tonight’s event has been canceled, however, and the Internet is down.


BookCourt in Brooklyn: Has been open for business since Tuesday morning. Tonight’s event has been canceled.

McNally Jackson in Nolita, Manhattan: No power, but no water or wind damage. Will reopen after power is restored.

Housing Works in Manhattan: No power. Status of stock in basement is unknown. Hoping to reopen for the launch party of Jami Attenberg’s “The Middlesteins” on Thursday.

Word Books in Greenpoint, Brooklyn: Opened late Tuesday but the store is fine. Tonight’s event is canceled.

R.J. Julia Booksellers in Madison, Conn.: Almost the entire town remains without power and is dealing with some flooding and downed power lines. The store plans to open its doors as soon as it can.

The Book Barn in Niantic, Conn.: Doing cleanup, no power. Not certain when it will reopen.

Bank Square Books in Mystic, Conn.: The town was flooded; the books were taken to safety but the store will need a new rug. Uncertain when it will reopen.

[words] bookstore in Maplewood, N.J.: Will reopen Wednesday at 10 a.m.


Well Read Books in Hawthorne, N.J.: Has no power, but suffered no damage. Will reopen after power is restored.

Wachtung Booksellers in Montclair, Booktowne in Manasquan, Eleventh Step Books in Coddington, River Road Books in Fair Haven and Womrath’s Bookstore in Tenfaly, all in New Jersey, have not updated social media or store websites since before the storm.

If you know of a bookstore in the storm’s path and how it is faring, update us by emailing carolyn [dot] kellogg [at]



Joan Didion and the art of political narrative

‘The Partisan’ an opinionated biography of William Rehnquist

Bookseller, barber and ‘genius’ Rueben Martinez finds new partner


Carolyn Kellogg: Join me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+