Thursday Doors…closing doors

Posted: April 28, 2016 in Thursday doors
Tags: , , , ,

An independent bookstore is too often these days a vanishing breed.  Value it if your city has one.  Naperville has the thriving Anderson’s Bookshop, where not only do they sell books and other things, but they bring in a variety of authors.  We recently were fortunate enough to meet Laurie R. King, author of the Holmes and Russell books, where she spoke, then signed her latest book, The Murder of Mary Russell.

Unfortunately, not all independent bookstores are doing so well.  With the coming of Amazon and other discount services, bricks-and-mortar bookstores are in a precarious position.  Although I can’t claim to buy lots of new books, library sales being more in my financial wheelhouse, I do try to patronize the indies (independents) when possible.  This bookstore in Santa Barbara was one that had closed by the time we visited the city during the summer of 2015. If you’re a reader, I encourage you to check out your local bookstore and buy something there this week.

© janet m. webb 2015

The Thursday Doors challenge is found here.

  1. It is very sad indeed that so many bookstores have to close. I certainly value ours downtown, because of the personal contact and the advice they can give you. When the new reading list for my English book club has arrived, I always go there to order the books. Nice photo, by the way.

    • You can’t really see the doors in the photo because of all the reflections, but that’s part of what I liked. Didn’t like that the store closed, though. I love bookstores and, of course, their contents. 🙂


      • I cannot pass a bookstore without entering it. Then my husband starts rolling his eyes, half joking, of course. Although he loves reading too, he only enters a bookstore when he is looking for something special. Browsing is not for him, whereas I …

      • Yes, I love browsing as well and a bookstore will above all places draw me in, too.

  2. Lena says:

    It is sad that bookstores are becoming so rare.

  3. Allan G. Smorra says:

    A timely post, Janet. I, too, love used bookstores. Prowling the aisles and searching the shelves for “that certain” book is a joy to me. I usually end up with something other than what I went in to look for, but that keeps me coming back. Perhaps it is the act of searching, more than the acquisition of a particular book, that is the allure for me.

    • As I can’t afford to buy the number of books I read, I confess that I often find interesting books at the bookstore and then get them at the library. There are certain authors I collect because I love their work so much that I re-read the books multiple times. Yes, I’ve often gotten something at a bookstore that wasn’t what I intended, but that’s part of the fun.


  4. By the time our grandchildren become adults, I fear that the bookstore will be like a rotary telephone – a thing of the past.

    • I hope not, but they may be few and far between with the exception of used bookstores. Part of the problem is the cost of books these days. If I had to buy all mine, I’d have to work full time at a really good job…and then I wouldn’t have time to read them. Libraries, however, should always do well.


  5. Norm 2.0 says:

    It is sad but retail in every industry is feeling the pinch from the internet 😦

  6. joey says:

    Bookstores are becoming too rare, but then, I’m not supporting them financially, so I can see why. I love my library! I go to Barnes & Noble rarely, go much more often to Half Price Books, where I actually buy books and music. There used to be many others, though, not just chains, but independents. Sad, but perhaps inevitable in the digital age :/
    I like the way you took this picture, with the reflection. I’m a sucker for good reflections. 🙂

    • Joey, I completely understand. I’m in the same boat. I use the library copiously and when I look for books that I don’t find at the library sale, I go first to HPB. Too expensive to buy lots of things at a regular bookstore. But I do try to support them at least once in a while. Glad you liked the photo. The reflections were what caught my eye.


  7. Joyce says:

    We have some favorite ones here too, in Loveland. Barnes & Noble is not doing near the brisk business it did ten years ago for the same reasons, but we have an independent book store just a couple blocks from us that sells both used and new books and does a great job there with their nice display and good variety in their inventory under several categories, the classics, fiction, academic and non fiction genre types. I enjoy their store and we get credit on all those books we donate to them, so a savings on our part and helping to support them. Like you, I am a print book lover and prefer it to my Kindle e-reader, so have a good sized collection in our personal library. The actual library in our town has done a complete upgrade and remodel all around and does a great business there with selling old discontinued style books, their tech computer labs and all of their vast number of housed books for checking out.

    • I like Borders much better than B&N, Joyce, and never really go to B&N. I use the library, library sales, and Half Price Books for most of my book needs. These days, most of my book needs are getting rid of some of the many, many books I have, a thing almost impossible for me to accomplish. 🙂


      • Joyce says:

        I can relate to that. I go through my books carefully to make sure I don’t give away or donate ones I would regret later. I have my favorite authors and genres, so makes that part easier.

  8. That’s really sad, Janet. Great capture though.

  9. Good post about these doors. We really try to support local shops first in Portland, especially art and book stores. It is so wonderful to be able to dink around in both…

    • We also try to support small, local businesses whenever possible. More money stays in the community that way, which is good for all of us. I, too, love dinking around in bookstores or the library. 🙂


  10. Dan Antion says:

    Very few independents around us. It is sad.

    • It is, but as Joey said, I’ve never bought a lot of books at retail prices. Can’t afford to. Half Price Books is my go-to store, although I did buy a fair number of books from Borders when they were open. But as we try to support local and small business, I do try to buy something at least once in awhile. Trying not to buy many new books anyway, just patronizing the heck out of the library as I’ve done my entire life. 🙂


  11. So sad to see another bookstore close its doors, Janet. New books are quite expensive here in Ireland but there are often bargains to be found in clearance sales. Secondhand bookstores tend to do very well here.

    • Jean, I shop sales for virtually everything, so why would books be any different? 🙂 I look at clearance and sale books, too. We have a Half Price Books in our city (part of a wonderful chain) and one of a small local chain about 20 minutes from us.

  12. Su Leslie says:

    I love bookshops — particularly the independents which actually stock books for different kinds of readers, rather than whatever is on the best seller list. They are increasingly rare here, and I have to confess, I am not helping. Books are hideously expensive in New Zealand and the independents’ prices are even higher than the chain stores and both are way above the online price. Often it is much cheaper for me to order books from Amazon UK and have them shipped here. I try to remind myself of the environmental cost, but morality versus price is a difficult balance at times.

  13. The Barnes & Noble near me closed, but there is still one several miles away that I rarely visit. I have a favorite used book store that seems to be doing well. I use the Library a lot these days because I don’t have the space for all the books I read, but like you I do buy favorite authors, and if I’m reading a series that I started out buying I continue to buy each edition til the end.

  14. pommepal says:

    A sad fact of our digital age. I love to browse in book stores but admit to not often buying. I take note of any I fancy then search them out in the library, my favourite book place.

  15. Sad but true. I’ve seen stores close. I may be a contributor now that I can read everything on Kindle. Even my textbooks can be read digitally. I may have saved a tree or two.

  16. Helen Jones says:

    I worked at an independent bookstore for a while, and it was such a busy, wonderful place to be. We all loved books and read avidly, and knew many of our customers by name – it’s just not an experience you can get in big chains and online. We also supported local authors which, once again, is something that is harder and harder to come by. My nearest indie bookstores are in London now, which I think is a real shame.

  17. Sad and true Janet – amazon really isn’t the same as browsing a really good book shop – used to live quite near Cambridge in the UK and spent hours en route home in the university bookstores!

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