"The Last Bookstore Standing..."

Commentary by Cherie Jung

Over the past few years we've been lamenting the demise of bookstore after bookstore. This disturbing trend was not just limited to small, independent bookstores either. Waldenbooks, Borders, and other chain retail bookstores also succumbed. There are even rumors flying around about the coming (or possibly coming) end of the "bricks and mortar" Barnes & Noble bookstores.

We recently learned the sad news about Whodunit? Books in Olympia, Washington. On April 30th, after 13 years, the bookstore will close its doors for the last time. The closure coincides with the end of their lease and the fact that business has not recovered since the 2008 economic "dip" (crash, some might say). Linda Dewberry, the owner of Whodunit? Books, will be retiring at that time. She will be missed by many. Her knowledge of books and authors was staggering. Give her a few hints about likes and dislikes and she could find a new book or author for any inquiring customer to try.

Time passes. Things change.

I know it seems silly to fret. We do still have access to books. There are online warehouse companies...and catalogues...and a few "bricks and mortar" bookstores left. Somewhere. But what are the books going to do when all of the bookstores are closed and shuttered?


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