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Another Sad Demise...



"All sales are final" at Brent Books right now because, sadly, the cozy Loop bookstore is in its final days. I haven't seen any press on the impending closing, but just from chatting with a sales clerk today I confirmed that the store is indeed closing, apparently yet another victim of megastore discounting, vaster selection at big chains, online sales, declining numbers of serious readers--all the usual suspects.

I must admit, however, that I won't miss the store nearly as much as I'll miss what it might have been. It seems like it could have been a great little independent store, with impeccable heredity (owner Adam Brent is the son of legendary Chicago bookseller Stuart Brent), a perfect West Loop location, helpful staff and comfy digs. But the store's inventory was maddeningly light on both local authors (other than the very biggest names) and small presses, and their selection largely mainstream. When book hunting downtown, I'd always give them the first crack at my business, but would invariably never find what I wanted there and would end up walking four more blocks to the Borders on State Street. I really wanted to support this store, but it almost always disappointed me. (Pretty much all of the opinions expressed here are consistent with my feelings about the store.) As much as I hate to see another independent disappear, in their case it will impact me very little.

Every book in the store is 50% off, as has been the case for the past year, but now with inventory not being replenished the shelves are starting to thin out. Sad. I picked up three books--Ward Just's Forgetfulness, Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio and William Trevor's The Hill Bachelors--as a way of quietly saying goodbye. Farewell.

August 30, 2006 in Books | Permalink

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