Because I was thinking of “Becky” and the bookstore, I went to the Chinese restaurant next door for lunch, thinking I might pop in, give the place another chance, on the theory that the jerk who insulted me wasn’t there any more. If he was, I could explain why I’d been absent so long, in detail and maybe loudly.
When I arrived, another potential book-buyer stood reading a sign on the door. The interior was dark, and the sign depressing. “Closing soon: please use your store credit.” Apparently we were too late already. We commiserated with each other, and turned out she had a similar story about the replacement clerk.
“There’s so few places left to buy books,” she sighed, and she’s right.
In this one suburb, all three bookstores had closed within the last year. In one case, location was and always had been a problem, and I don’t know the particular woes of the third. All their business should have been driven here by default. Yet two book buyers stood on the sidewalk of a shuttered store.
“Take over the back rent and I will *give* you the store.” I’ve never seen that kind of offer–the implications were staggering, as was the sum required. How long had it been since they’d paid the rent? They could have used some of my bookbuying dollars to do it, had I not been driven away in a huff.
It’s a pretty, well organized operation, with more inventory than you’d think,much of it romance, quite a lot of paranormal and urban fantasy. Or so I remember it: that too could have changed. If anyone’s interested, email me, I’ll get you the contact phone number.