Saturday, March 22, 2014

Grave State of Bookstores

With bookstores, it’s like bowling. Not five pins. Ten pins. Down they go, out they go one by one.

This week three beloved bookstores closed in Toronto: Book City in the Annex, The World’s Biggest Bookstore and The Cookbook Store in Yorkville. Gone.

Here in Thunder Bay the second hand book story on May Street closed.  Chapters has pushed the fiction into the far, far corner.  Thank heavens, Coles in the mall sails on. Northern Woman’s, a northern miracle, remains open but not every day.

People are reading, they are buying on line or for the Kobo, but books no longer generate a profit, or at least not enough.  Thus more and more floor space in Chapters is turned over to candies, cards and candles.

Once both Toronto and Thunder Bay were awash in book stores. Sweet Thursday is a distance sweet memory. In Toronto, the Grim Reader took the Women’s Bookstore on Harbourd Street, Nicholas Hoare, Steven Temple Books, Pages, Edwards Books and Art, This Ain’t the Rosedale Library and Britnell’s.  

The patron saint of books and writers is St. Francis de Sales, a patient and gentle fellow who lived in the 17th century and wrote books.  If you do buy a candle at Chapters, light it and say a prayer to St. Francis for bookstores. They need all the help they can get.

 St. Francis de Sales, patron saint of writers and books, working on his latest.

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