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In a city--and a country--that has seen dozens of bookstores close in the face of online competition and dwindling customer traffic, the demise of Libreria Lectorum comes as a particular blow to the Hispanic literary community in New York. For nearly a half-century Lectorum has dispensed a wide range of translations of popular American titles by authors like John Grisham and Nora Roberts, as well as a vibrant collection of books by Spanish and Latin American novelists, poets and playwrights. It has also welcomed a steady stream of writers for readings at the store on 14th Street in Greenwich Village.
Gerome and Nora Gutierrez, Argentine immigrants, founded the business in 1960 when they started importing bilingual dictionaries from a publisher in Buenos Aires and sold them out of their car and from their apartment on 116th Street in Manhattan. They eventually opened a store on Seventh Avenue in Chelsea, moving to the Avenue of the Americas before finally landing on 14th Street in 1962. Store's last chapter from the New York Times.