Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Mystery Bookstore

So far, this has been my week for bad news.  It started with the news yesterday that one of my roommates will be gone by the end of the month.  I'm sorry to see him go and have to replace him for the obvious monetary reasons, but I also don't want to lose my friend.  Hopefully, he'll be back at some point in the future, but we'll see if that happens or not.

Today came the news that The Mystery Bookstore, an independent bookstore near UCLA is closing at the end of the month.  Since I read mysteries, I quite obviously go there some.  It's one of the bookstores I go to for book signings.  Several authors I like hold their launch parties there.

But I don't go there all the time.  In fact, I usually support Amazon and BN.com more than anything else.  Why is that?  Because I am 45 minutes to an hour away from them.  Gas and time mean something, too, not to mention that I can buy more books.  And, yes, I will buy my paperbacks from Border and BN here in town or use them to get free shipping.

A month ago, there were reports of Borders stores closing, some of them down here.  My first thought was, maybe that will be better for independent bookstores.  Obviously not.

Obviously, I am sad.  I have found some of my favorite authors by going to book signings that sounded interesting.  That will not happen in a chain bookstore (or rarely happen).  It definitely doesn't happen on line.

Could I have supported the store more?  Probably.  I'm sure it doesn't help that I drive to another mystery bookstore that's about as far away as that one is just as often as I drive there.

But maybe I couldn't have.  If I had bought more there, I probably would have bought fewer books because of the added gas I would have spent getting down there and back again.  Who knows.

Yeah, so maybe I am trying to justify myself a little bit.

But mostly I am just sad.  I have many happy memories of that bookstore.  I hate to see an era ending.

There is talk going around about a way to save the store.  I hope it works.


Jon said...

I hate it when a good bookstore closes down. Most of the store owners I've talked with over the years tell me it's next to impossible to actually make a living with a small bookstore, it's usually done as a labor of love.

Mark said...

Which is why I haven't decided to open a bookstore of my own.