The flood of bookstore closings doesn’t seem likely to let up, at least not soon. Now that I’ve transitioned to the dark side, I wonder how much time I’ll spend in good old-fashioned, paper bookstores. Borders has garnished much attention lately, with the most recent news in their ongoing saga that they are about to be delisted from the NYSE. They’ll be closing a hundred more stores, at best. At worst, they’ll go out of business entirely and take all 650 bookstores with them.
I’ve always felt that one grand exception to this trend will be second-hand bookstores. They’ll continue to sell all the books that are already out there. They can specialize in limited and collector editions, and all around remain a bastion of paper. So I was dismayed to read that one of my favorite second hand bookstores in my hometown of Seattle, Twice Sold Tales in the U District, will be closing. I used to shop there almost daily when I worked at the neighboring University Book Store. I couldn’t afford many new books, even with my employee discount, so was always on the prowl in Twice Sold Tales. (Though the U Book Store did give me great benefits, and I read a ton while actually at work… those were the days.)
Twice Sold Tales will be missed, but I can take some heart in that it’ll continue online. And the owner seems to be making out nicely as he relinquishes his location to Chase. Really? Is this the state of the book world these days? Banks are chasing away bookstores. Also, what will become of the kitty cats who inhabit Twice Sold Tales? I’ve always thought that would be a grand way to be reincarnated, as a cat who lives in a second-hand bookstore.
Must I dash this dream too?