A big family, a reading addiction, and the occasional celebrity scandal are the ingredients of life that create one woman's opinion on just about everything.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

My Favorite Used Book Store

I got a phone call Monday afternoon from Linda the owner of my favorite used book store. Linda has worked at the store for about 16 years and owned it for probably 5 of those years. We usually speak on the phone a couple of times a month. She will call to let me know the latest edition of Romantic Times is in and I call her with a list of authors or books I'm looking for and she will look them up on the computer and pull the books for me if they are available.

When I received the call on Monday I just figured it was Linda letting me know RT was in. However, I received the news that Linda was unable to reach an agreement with the owner of the shopping center she is in for her new lease and she will be closing the store on March 23rd. Worse yet I have to use my credit up by this Friday. I have a ridiculous credit at this store because I have a generous book budget each month and while I try new authors by purchasing at the UBS I still buy alot of new books as well.

So I've been calling friends and family to see if they need any books and I'll look for them today and tomorrow. It's unlikely I will be able to use all my credit, but that is nothing in comparison to the loss I'll feel over losing a favorite book haunt.

We still have another UBS in the area. It's not far from where my son goes to high school so I pass it a couple of times a week when I pick him up. I just don't go to this particular store very often. Linda's store was the only UBS around for many years and I started going to that store in 1986. That is longer ago than some of you were probably born. The store has always been clean, well organized and Linda was always so friendly and accomodating.

To say I'm going to miss it is an understatement. Linda's looking for another location, but we have had a big building boom here lately and rents and housing have skyrocketed. I think the owner of the shopping center is short sighted to raise rents (it doubled!) and put a good, steady and reliable tenant out, but nobody asked me what I thought.

So I'm really bummed about my favorite UBS closing, It just doesn't feel right since that store has been such a part of my family's reading experience for so many years. My sons bought their first comic books in that store. I tried many authors for the first time by buying a used book and then glomming their back list and buying new. Linda was often reading the same books and authors and was always someone you could talk to about your latest reading binge or family drama.

My fingers are crossed that she will find another location, but she doesn't sound hopeful. It feels like the end of an era.



Blogger Wendy said...

It's tough because as a long-time customer you've built a relationship with your bookseller. That's one of the reasons I love my favorite UBS - I can go in and "shoot the breeze" with the clerks while I'm browsing the shelves.

I've been lucky since while my favorite UBS was chased out because of high rents (in Norco, CA of all places! Puhleeze!), they found a new (albeit slightly smaller) location a bit closer to where a live. So no worries for now.

8:34 AM PST  
Blogger ReneeW said...

Oh, Rosie, I feel your pain. The exact same thing happened to me a couple years ago. Fortunately my favorite UBS was able to find another space but it was much smaller and I would guess they now have about half the inventory of the old store. Still makes me cry. I go in there occasionally but they usually don't have anything I want anymore. So sad.

11:45 AM PST  
Blogger Nikki said...

That sucks! I have a favorite UBS and I am waiting for that same phone call someday. I get my Romantic Times there and have a relationship with the owners. I think that for the most part UBSes are a dying breed. I think that sights like paperbackswap and the others like it are taking over this market. It's very sad.

2:13 PM PST  
Blogger Rosie said...

Wendy, I went in to use up some of my credit today and Linda told me they have a lead on a store space but it's further away by about 15 minutes. Not bad, but she's already about 15 mins from the house. Better than not having the store at all though.

Renee, I forgot to ask her if she was going to downsize and lose inventory. That would be not good, right now I just have my fingers crossed she can move instead of close.

Nikki, they have been there so long that I never thought it would be a problem. I still like going into browse even though I have found some of my OOP books online.

6:16 PM PST  
Blogger nath said...

oh man, Rosie, I'm so sorry to hear. This really sucks!!! Hopefully, she'll find another place.

5:27 AM PST  

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