Greetings, literarians. This post is an advertisement for WORD UP, our local independent bookstore. WORD UP has had a rough go of it lately, what with nefarious landlords raising rents, generally hating art and literature, and forcing our local literati to find a new home. So, hoping to help out WORD UP (they’re up in Washington Heights on 176th and Broadway), we wandered inside and were fortunate enough to fall madly in love with a piece of art (featured below).

We’re calling her Kiva (the woman in the painting, that is). The artist (we haven’t found her name yet) lives in the neighborhood and is a friend of one of the volunteers who works in WORD UP. This, friends, is why we must support our local bookstores. They are a source of community and a place to gather. WORD UP has all kinds of excellent, used and new books, but it also has gorgeous art on its walls, for sale, for display, often painted by artists in the neighborhood, many of whom are just getting started with their artistic careers, who can’t afford galleries, agents, managers and all that mess, who choose, instead, to rely on places like WORD UP to show their wares.

So get out and visit your local bookstore! Buy something interesting and unusual, like a painting, like Ed Park’s PERSONAL DAYS or Junot Diaz’s DROWN (these were both for sale at WORD UP). Spread the good word about WORD UP and help them find a new home! Here’s the link to their blog: check em out and stop by to say hi.