Christmas without a bookstore

Published 1:41 pm Friday, December 23, 2011

In 1999, we bought The Book Nook from Ann and Rob Gingras, and for the next 12 years, had a wonderful business relationship with the community and hundreds of customers.

This is the first Christmas in 12 years, we have been without our beloved store, a season which was one of our busiest. But no matter how busy it was, it was one of the most joyous of the year.

We remember the Holiday Open House events downtown, that busy Sunday afternoon, with shoppers, strollers, events in the park, Mary Cox signing the Christmas ornaments, and shoppers and friends, coming in for our famous holiday egg nog and other goodies.

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Other merchants, too, rolled out the holiday table to invite everyone in for a pleasant afternoon.

This was the time of the year when there were many specialty books, seasonal offerings, new children’s books, and lots of new coffee table books. Some were really expensive, and even though had hefty prices, folks liked looking through them, and adding them to their lists.

It was also a time when best-selling authors had their new offerings trying to catch the Christmas buying habits. New books from top authors made great gifts.

Books remain a hot item even though there are huge sales of the new e-readers, with new models and cheaper models now available.

We have two Kindles in our house, and rarely go anywhere without them. While in Italy last June, everyday I kept up with the news by downloading various daily newspapers, including the International Herald Tribune.

Yes, we miss our bookstore, and it was with great regret that we liquidated it and finally closed it. Alas, so many people many times said that they had always wanted to own a bookstore, but due to economic conditions, their desire was there but cash was in short supply.

It feels different this year. No bookstore to open in the mornings, displaying new seasonal offerings, seeing longtime customers, many of whom became close friends.

Yet times change, and we change with them. But we can still wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Those greetings and sentiments remain with us for all time.

Jim Smith writes a weekly column for The Post Searchlight. You can reach him through his email at