In a world where on a book shop like St. Mark's must silently be compared to Barnes and Noble's, I am struck by it's surprising relevance and urbanity. Unlike B&N, a very good and comprehensive bookstore, St. Mark's differs in that it has a clear and expert EDITORIAL hand. The same way great editors make a great magazine, so St. Mark's shows this is true for bookstores. It has small press publishers and academic authors, but not as a gimmick. The books are extremely well selected, & personally, I find the percentage of books I find interesting to those I don't extremely high compared to most bookstores, including other small artisanal bookshops. A lot of art, literary, philosophical, poetical work that's on the forefront of modern thinking. It's the kind of brick-and-mortar shop that can only exist in a big city like ours, and despite the availability of everything on the internet. For a city that has everything, it's easy to take for granted that having bookstores like this is just part of the reason we live here. But if I were a tourist, it would be a destination for me... actually, coming from a small southern town, I feel like it is for me still.