As One Bookstore Closes, The Next Chapter Begins

The+Next+Chapter+promises+to+reincarnate+the+spirit+of+Book+Revue.+Credit%3A+Erin+Ye

The Next Chapter promises to “reincarnate the spirit of Book Revue.” Credit: Erin Ye

Erin Ye, Editor

As I walk into the warehouse, a dimly lit storage area located in the basement of Classic Galleries, just across the street from where the Book Revue once stood, I am caught with a sense of nostalgia and wonder. Books and artwork fill every corner of the limited space, and the cozy, inviting atmosphere once again reminds me why we need a bookstore in Huntington.

 

Last summer, the announcement that Book Revue, Long Island’s largest independent bookstore and a Huntington landmark, would be closing after 44 years of business came as a shock to nearly everyone. Even knowing that the pandemic had caused many local establishments to struggle, it seemed impossible that something so fundamental to Huntington Village’s spirit and identity could be taken away. The months that followed saw Book Revue at its most crowded, with longtime customers saying their goodbyes and stocking up on the store’s heavily discounted inventory. By September, Book Revue had fully closed, its shelves completely barren. Now, a gap of vacant space sits on New York Avenue. It seems nearly sacrilegious to fill it with anything other than a beloved bookstore.

 

Mallory Braun, a longtime manager at Book Revue, is trying to do just that. On November 15th, Mallory launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the establishment of a new bookstore in the village, fittingly named The Next Chapter. Since the launch, the campaign has earned over $215,000 pledged in support, with over 1,800 backers. Mallory’s goal is to raise $250,000 by December 16th for The Next Chapter, which she promises will “venture to reincarnate the spirit of Book Revue.”

While I was visiting the warehouse, Mallory described her current vision for The Next Chapter while showing me her favorite donations and finds for the store. A specialist in rare and used books, she wants The Next Chapter to be a space for endless learning, decorated in a way that is “whimsical” and inviting, especially for younger readers. From the many pieces and books she pointed out to me, many were one-of-a-kind primary sources, the oldest being a French illustrated book from the 1600s. Mallory has received generous donations from collectors and has attended several antique sales herself in search of these kinds of books, which are both pieces of artwork and historical artifacts.

 

With the donated books that are in too battered of shape to be sold, Mallory uses their covers and insides to create cases, bookmarks, and other pieces for The Next Chapter, preserving parts of them in any way she can. While she says this process is “harder to explain” to potential backers over her Kickstarter, these extra details paint a fuller picture of what The Next Chapter will represent, a place for people to explore, where nothing goes to waste.

 

Mallory hopes to open The Next Chapter in the upcoming year, very close to the New York Avenue where Book Revue used to be. Initially, the store’s inventory will consist of donated, used books. If you would like to pledge your support for The Next Chapter, you can visit the Kickstarter page and pledge by December 16th. If you would like to donate books or physical items, you can email Mallory at [email protected]terli.com

 

During our discussions, Mallory shared, “ I think books are really important, and I think this generation especially appreciates things that are on paper and tangible.” I know for me and many others who grew up in Huntington, Book Revue was an indelible part of our upbringing and adolescence. It was a source of comfort, inspiration, and safety. I think the next generation of children deserve to experience a space of endless possibilities, and I strongly believe The Next Chapter will be that place for them.

 

Mallory’s Kickstarter campaign: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/bookrevue/book-revue-the-next-chapter

 

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