By Beth Groundwater
I am still absorbing the sad news of the closing of the last bookstore in my new hometown, Breckenridge, Colorado. It is an independent bookstore that has been a long-time (26 years) local institution and supporter of Colorado authors: Weber's Books & Drawings. It's one of about 500 independent bookstores that have closed in the past decade, but this closing is especially tough for us Breckenridge residents because Weber's is our only bookstore.
Owners Jolanta and Charles Weber have become friends, and I sympathize with their desire to retire and enjoy some relaxation away from the pressures of running their own business. They had tried to find a buyer for the store for a couple of years, but with no takers, they made the reluctant decision to close the store and are selling off their inventory at 35% off list prices.
Jolanta and Charles have been actively hand-selling my books even before I made Breckenridge my full-time home. They sold over seventy copies of my To Hell in a Handbasket title that is set in Breckenridge, and they have displayed two shelves of my autographed titles on an end-cap that faces the front door of the store. I'm definitely going to miss having that local showcase!
And its not just Breckenridge residents and Colorado authors who are lamenting the store closing. Visitors to our area who return year after year have been coming in to say their goodbyes to Jolanta and Charles. Some customers have cried. We will all miss the personal touch they brought to selecting just the right books for our reading tastes. A great article about the closing, including a photo of the store owners was included in the Summit Daily News.
Below is a photo from a signing of To Hell in a Handbasket that Weber's hosted. The woman with me is Jolanta Weber. Notice that she even dressed in colors to match the book cover. What a businesswoman! I was hoping to have a signing for my May release, Wicked Eddies, at Weber's, but now I'll have to find another local venue.
How about you? Do you have a favorite nearby bookstore? Or did you have one, and it's now closed? How do you feel about the recent trend of bookstore closings?