Friday, October 2, 2009

Closing the books on the local bookshop

Stacks of bookstores and bookshops selling new, used, and rare books are closing their financial books these days for various reasons. Here's a round-up of some recent and future closings:

United States

• French-language bookstore Librairie de France was scheduled to close at the end of September after 74 years in business at New York City's Rockefeller Center. The owner, whose father founded the store in 1928, said that the rent had become too expensive.

Books & More in Plymouth, Massachusetts, closed on September 15th. It had a short life.

Guided by Grace, an ecumenical book and gift store in Adrian, Michigan, was scheduled to close at the end of September after six years of business.

Addam’s Bookstore, a local university bookstore located in Raleigh, North Carolina, was scheduled to close at the end of September due to the slow economy.

Bookstop, a longtime bookstore in Houston, closed its doors in mid-September after 25 years of business.

Hastings Books, Music & Video in Ames, Iowa, was scheduled to close its doors on October 1st after its parent company said it wasn’t making enough money.

Cheshire Books in Yakima, Washington, closed after 26 years in business. "Both used and new bookstores are closing right now, and chains even like Borders are in trouble," the owner said.

• The Virginia Dept. of Corrections shut down its 20-year-old Books Behind Bars program after contraband was found in a few books. D'oh!

United Kingdom

Nonsuch Books and Music in Nailsworth, Gloucestershire, was scheduled to close on September 30th due to the recession.

• According to the The Irish Times, 500 independent bookshops in the United Kingdom have closed since 1997.

• In 2008, according to the Booksellers Association, 83 indie bookshops closed.

In related news, Vincent McCaffrey, an online bookseller who owned and operated the legendary, now-defunct, brick-and-mortar Avenue Victor Hugo Bookshop in Boston for more than thirty years, has just had his debut novel, Hound (2009), published by Small Beer Press of western Massachusetts. Set in Boston and featuring bookhound Henry Sullivan, Hound is a literary murder mystery and "a paean to books, bookselling, and the transformative power of the printed word." Check out this interview between McCaffrey and Small Beer Press, or read the first two chapters for free! [via Bibliophile Stalker]

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