Quantcast
Book smarts! Greenlight Bookstore expands, defying print obituaries • Brooklyn Paper

Book smarts! Greenlight Bookstore expands, defying print obituaries

Greenlight Bookstore annex cafe general manager Michael Hayes and store co-owner Jessica Stockton Bagnulo are excited to now be able to nourish more than just the brain.

It’s the tale of the little book store that could.

Greenlight Bookstore, which opened three years ago in the middle of the worst era for book sales since the Inquisition, will expand its Fort Greene shop to include more space for events, office clutter and yes, even room for e-books.

Greenlight recently collaborated with wine shop neighbors the Greene Grape to put a coffee bar, a full-sized kitchen and more office space next to the existing bookshop on Fulton Street.

The result will allow for more space for events like book signings and readings. And starting this September, Greenlight will also serve as the kiosk vendor and online distributor of fellow Fort Greene giant, Brooklyn Academy of Music.

Even in an age when print is supposedly dead, there’s no secret to co-owners Jessica Stockton Bagnulo and Rebecca Fitting’s success.

“Great independent bookstores are often neighborhood bookstores,” Stockton Bagnulo said. “Figuring out how to serve your community is, I think, one of the keys to long-term success in our business. But a large part of [our success] has to do with Fort Greene. We’ve been fortunate that our community has been hugely supportive.”

Other area print dinosaurs — such as Atlantic Bookshop and DARE Books — have closed, but Greenlight hopes to avoid that fate by being at the vanguard.

Stockton Bagnulo and Fitting will soon go where few bookshops have gone before: they’ll even sell you an e-book, the pixel format that supposedly spelled — in 1s and 0s — the death of the modern bookshop.

Here’s how it works: All you need is a Google Books account, along with a Greenlight account. Then, just browse for books on Greenlight’s website, add an e-book to your cart and check out. The e-books are stored in the cloud, where you can access them from any device with a Google Books app.

“We’re in the business of selling books — not paper,” Bagnulo said. “E-books are another way readers are experiencing books, and we want to be the best bookstore we can be.”

Greenlight Bookstore [686 Fulton St. at S. Portland Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 246-0200].

More from Around New York