This sign appeared Tuesday on the remaining Olsson's bookstores in my area. Hard to imagine sadder news for book lovers and writers, not to mention all the people who counted on the store's success for their livelihoods.
Olsson's was in business for 36 years. If you don't live in the DC area, you may not have heard of it, but it was an institution here. It was where you went when you had an hour to kill and didn't quite know where else to go. In Alexandria, there was a coffee shop upstairs with a gorgeous view over the Potomac, and you were free to sit there and dream or scribble in your notebook uninterrupted. It was not uncommon to find people asleep up there in one of the easy chairs. No one bothered them. It was that kind of place.
A small chain to begin with, Olsson's had recently dwindled to five stores. Even when they filed for bankruptcy protection in July, we figured they'd weather the storm. But no. They'd been Amazoned and iTuned, as the Washington Post said. They're not the first and sadly, they won't be the last. But they were really great about supporting this newbie author and I want the staff there to know: I will miss you guys. Thank you.
Amazon is convenient, but it doesn't have a river view.