Coliseum Books ‘Trying To Hold On,’ Auction Looming

Cool logo and “one of the best retail locations,” says auctioneer.

More than a month after the news first broke, Coliseum Books founding partner George Leibson informs us via e-mail that the hallowed literary haunt is still bankrupt:

Dear Friends of Coliseum Books,

It is with great sadness that I inform you of our decision to seek protection from our creditors through a bankruptcy filing.

Since opening our store on 57th Street in July of 1974, it has been our pleasure to bring you the best selection of new and backlist books. After closing that store in January 2002, when the lease expired, we searched long and hard for a suitable new location and thought we had found one here on 42nd Street. Business started more slowly than we had hoped but continued to build until this year, when increased competition from discount stores and book chain stores and the internet started to take their toll.

We are trying to hold on through the holidays. Although our inventory is not as strong as before, we still have many interesting books. Any support you can give will be much appreciated and will help us pay off our debts.

Thank you all for your loyal support.

George S. Leibson
Founding Partner

Keen Realty is auctioning off the Coliseum’s lease next month.

The rent on its 10,449-square-foot location at 11 West 42nd Street is “below market,” according to Keen, at just $76.08 per square foot, with a whopping 17 years of Bryant Park-area tenancy remaining.

The consultants are accepting bids through Dec. 12.

– Chris Shott

Coliseum Books ‘Trying To Hold On,’ Auction Looming