Dear lord, is this some kind of Black Friday of bookselling? We report the unhappy news of the following impending bookstore closures:
- Here in New York City, Barnes & Noble plans to shut down its Astor Place location due to increasing rents. “We’d like to stay there, but we really can’t afford it,” said company spokeswoman Mary Ellen Keating to the New York Post yesterday.*
- After weeks of swirling rumors, Cody’s has announced it will close its Stockton Street store in San Francisco only months after its flagship Telegraph Avenue store in Berkeley went under. The last day for the Stockton Street retail shop will be April 20, leaving only a single shop in Berkeley left of what was once the Bay Area’s signature independent bookstore chain.
- And two years after noted mystery indie Poisoned Pen expanded from its Scottsdale base into Phoenix, that shop, Poisoned Pen Central, will close. The Arizona Republic reports that suffered a loss of business last summer after the city shut its building down for renovations for two weeks, from which it never recovered.
*Ron observes that while the excellent author events programming at the Astor Place B&N will be missed, it’s not as if there isn’t another, larger B&N less than a dozen blocks away at Union Square. Also, there’s two independent bookstores within a five-minute walk of the square, and another five minutes would take you to one more (two if you count Housing Works); perhaps they’ll pick up some new customers.