February 11, 2009

Why We Need to Support Independent Bookstores

A few years ago, our older son and I took a road trip to Acadia National Park in Maine. It's one of our finest memories.

During that trip, Andrew and I spent a delightful afternoon in Port In A Storm Bookstore. One wall of the store is glass and overlooks a peaceful waterway. There was an excellent children's book section. And whoa boy did they support their local authors!

Andrew left with a stack of fantasy novels to read on the drive home. I left with a humor book from a local author and a collection of photographs from the area that I still enjoy thumbing through.

This store is a treasure, and we always looked forward to going back.

That's why I was saddened to read the following letter on their Web site:

December 5, 2008

Dear Port In A Storm Customers,

It is with regret that I must tell you that on January 18, 2009, Port In A Storm Bookstore will close its doors in Somesville.

Times are difficult for small businesses everywhere, particularly independent bookstores. We are all challenged by the growth of the Internet, the presence of big box and discount stores, and the general decrease in reading. Throughout the years, I have had to be creative to adapt to various economic and cultural changes in order to remain viable. Sometimes that is not enough.

Over the next weeks we will offer store-wide sales ranging from 25% to 45% off. You are encouraged to use your book-club coupons and gift certificates by January 18, 2009. All book-club credit coupons and gift certificates cannot be redeemed after this date.

Port In A Storm will be closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day.

I wish to thank our many customers and author and illustrator friends for their support and encouragement over the past ten years that I have owned Port In A Storm Bookstore.

Though I am considering other options for the future, I have no announcement to make at this time.

It has been a wonderful journey!

Jan Coates, Owner

1 comment:

carl hoffman said...

Amen. I worked at Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops in Milwaukee for 4 years. All the stores closed as of March 31, 2009.
Harry started the first store in 1927 and quickly established his bookshop as one of the best in the country. He also took pride in stocking banned books.
Now that Schwartz's is closed, I'm working at a newly opened independent bookshop called Boswell Book Company. It occupies the space in which the old Downer Avenue Schwartz store was located. If you're coming to Milwaukee, stop and see us at 2559 N. Downer Ave.