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Re: [BKARTS] Not just book stores but Landmark Paper Stores too...

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Book_Arts-L [mailto:BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf
> Of Bill Drendel
> Not only the closing of paper stores, but does everyone know that
> Chicago's
> AIKO's Art Materials, one of the oldest (50 or so years ) will be
> closing in
> May. End of an era. Unfortunately they just can't make it anymore.

I was shocked to discover that J.K. Gill in Portland, Oregon had closed.
They had floors of books, a full art dept., office supplies, school textbook
supplies, and the best sheet music dept. on the West Coast. I practically
grew up in that store (my mother worked there for a while)...it was sheer
heaven to a young person interested in reading, art, and music. I have
photos of the interior of the "old" store at 4th and Alder....1914, and it
was going strong then but I don't know when it was founded. At some point
after that they moved to 5th and Stark, where they were from the time I knew
them. I don't know any more about their closing than that they did....

Well, what goes around comes around. Bookshops were scarce in the 1950s
(where I live at least) .... they proliferated in the 70s and 80s...then
came Internet. A lot of used book shops closed then because the proprietors
felt that they could do better on the Internet, with lower overhead. Then
along came the ebayers and penny booksellers on Amazon, etc. and poof! 90%
of the average used book inventory turned to dust (in terms of making some
income). At the same time, with charity shops and libraries selling their
"good" books on the Internet, and with folks selling their own books online,
good stock became harder for booksellers to get. Which is only market
economics at work, but it still tells part of the story.  Escalating
property values of recent years raised taxes and rents on B&M spaces to the
point where booksellers just can't make it...not enough turnover with so
many people shopping online. I assume some of the same issues have affected
paper stores, etc.

But now property values are dropping...there may be less expensive rentals
available down the road...there will always be people who dream of running a
bookshop (why I don't know why - except some of us are just born crazy) and
probably in the next decade there will be a nostalgia for the old walk-in
bookshops and some will spring up. No telling what or how or when things
will change, but they will always change, and perhaps there will be a swing
back to the "good old days." Especially with all the fraud and scams and -
let's be honest, the ineptitude of many so-called "booksellers" on the
Internet - folks may yearn for some good old over the counter shops where
they can examine the goods before buying, or just hang out...you know...just
spending an afternoon in a bookstore getting lost in possibilities.

Things change too fast these days to be able to predict much of anything. We
can only hope that the pendulum will swing back, just a little bit.....

Cheers anyway, Lee
(still hanging in there with books up to my....er, hips.)

Lee Kirk
Cats are composed of Matter, Anti-Matter, and It Doesn't Matter

The Prints & The Paper
PO Box 5432
Eugene OR 97405
PH: 541-683-7033
WEBSITE: http://www.printsandthepaper.com
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