On a humid day last August, a crew of volunteer booksellers came to a familiar space in Washington Heights and packed up the products that had been Word Up Bookshop, a spot first conceived as a week-long pop-up that turned into a yearlong community haven.
The task, like most goodbyes, was bittersweet.
Volunteers and patrons alike loved the store’s prime location at Broadway and West 176th Street. While packing, though, volunteers running the shop were looking ahead to the store’s next location which they envision as a long-term business in Washington Heights.
“A bookstore, it’s more than a shop. It’s a community center,” said Washington Heights native Emmanuel “DJ Boy” Abreu, 28. “In my day, I never went into a bookstore. I was just roaming around the streets because there was nothing else to do.” He found books downtown, “but a lot of kids don’t leave Washington Heights.”
The video below of readings held at Word Up Books comes to us courtesy of Art By Dj Boy.