Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Another bookstore bites the dust

I was planning to blog more about editing today, but saw this article in the San Francisco Chronicle about Stacey's Bookstore planning to close in March. Stacey's has been around for 85 years. I thought back to the closing of Cody's Books, in Berkeley, and have the same feelings of shock and sorrow now as I did then.

Bookstores are like libraries to me: I couldn't do without them. I suppose they should have been on yesterday's list of addictions. But, in a way, they are there on an unspoken level. When I think of reading, I think of those libraries and bookstores that have been like a second home to me throughout my life, been like a breath to my soul and spirit.

Here's a few bookstores and libraries that are/have been like that for me. This is completely off the top of my head (and in completely random order).

Brick-and-mortar bookstores
  • Cody's Books (Berkeley)
  • Moe's Used Books (Berkeley)
  • The Book Mine (Leadville)
  • The Poisoned Pen (Scottsdale)
  • M is for Mystery (San Mateo)
  • San Francisco Mystery Bookstore (S.F.)
  • The Tattered Cover (Denver)
  • Murder by the Book (Denver)
  • High Crimes (Boulder)
  • Boulder Bookstore (Boulder)
  • Goodenough Books (Livermore)
  • Towne Center Books (Pleasanton)
  • The Book Haven (Salida)
  • Chinook Bookstore —— ?I think it was called this... I'm reaching a long way back in my memories to the 1970s for the name (Colorado Springs)
Okay, not to slight the other wonderful bookstores that weren't right "off the top of my head," but I've got to stop. Looking over the list, I realize that several of these no longer exist (or won't soon). How sad.

Now, libraries
  • The San Leandro Library (California)
  • The Castro Valley Library (California)
  • UC Berkeley's libraries—primarily Moffitt and Doe (California)
  • Denver Public Library (Colorado)
  • Boulder City Library (Colorado)
  • Pleasanton Library (California)
  • Livermore Public Library (California)
  • Lake County Library (Leadville, Colorado)
Anyone else want to mention bookstores and/or libraries that are or have been near and dear to them? If so, be my guest.


Beth Groundwater said...

It was indeed Chinook Bookstore in Colorado Springs, and sadly, both it and High Crimes in Boulder have shut their doors.

Ann Parker said...

Ah, thanks Beth! So, my memory was correct. How sad that both of these bookstores are gone.

Chester Campbell said...

Happily, we've had more openings than closings around Nashville lately, but most of them were among the chains. We do have a new mystery bookstore, Mysteries & More, that opened in 2008. I did a Christmas Open House signing there and had a great time.

As for libraries, ours are in trouble like everywhere else, but we won't know how bad until this year's budget is set. I hope they can afford my new book coming out in April. They stocked six of my 2008 book and 14 of the previous one.

BillieJohn said...

My most poignant closing was The Earthling in Santa Barbara, which ceased operations quite a while back.

When I lived in LA, I loved to drive up to Santa Barbara, especially during the SB Writers Conference, and a couple of hours combing through the stacks in The Earthling was always part of the experience.

This blog really expresses it:

Very sad.


Katie Hines said...

I can't imagine life without bookstores & libraries. It would be the dark ages all over again.

Anonymous said...

This is mighty depressing news...

lucia said...

What a lovely, thoughtful post. Of course we all love bookstores and libraries. What a great thing we co-bloggers have in common. My love began early, as my grandfather owned a bookstore. I read novels, early, keeping whatever mature-for-my-age book I was reading inside the cover of another. Now that bookstore is a small part of a new novel
I have to also thank The Poisoned Pen bookstore in Scottsdale. They bought a lot of signed copies of my first novel, a political "thriller."

Morgan Mandel said...

I hate to see any bookstores fold, especially the smaller independent ones who've been around for ages.

Morgan Mandel

Ann Parker said...

Hello Lucia . . . Ah! The Poisoned Pen bookstore! I certainly should have had them on my list. I ended up focusing on bookstores close to where I live/lived/spend a lot of time, so they didn't come to mind (embarrassing that, since I'm published by Poisoned Pen Press).

Billie . . . I loved reading the post about The Earthling. Sounded like my kind of store.

I'm glad to see so many kindred souls, but then, we are writers. And our love of words had to start somewhere, right? School, library, bookstore, home. Somewhere, sometime, someone introduced us each to the magical world of books. Or perhaps we just wandered into it ourselves. Thank you all for commenting.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Black Bear Books in Boone, NC is a wonderful place! They have a coffee shop and wonderful staff - and positively the cleanest book store in the world!

L. Diane Wolfe

Dani said...

Ann, you can most definitely add the PP bookstore to your list. See my post about editing blogs. ;) Also, I just started following that bookstore at Facebook.


Ann Parker said...

Hello Diane!
Wow, books and coffee?? Black Bear Books sounds like my kind of place! Rather like the Tattered Cover, come to think of it. If I ever get to NC, I'll have to visit.

Thanks for the reminder, Dani! I noodled the list accordingly.