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parrot_knight [userpic]

Goodbye Woodstock Bookshop

April 5th, 2004 (08:26 pm)
current mood: downcast

The last secondhand bookshop in Woodstock has closed, I learned today. I had parked my car on Park Street, about 250m from the Co-Op, and so walked past the Woodstock Bookshop for the first time in a week. I saw that the small shop was almost empty of books, and on going to the front door, which is in an alleyway that leads down to Princeton University Press's UK office and I think perhaps some flats, I read a handwritten notice that announced:

'This bookshop is closed from today, 1st April. Thank you and farewell.'

I gather that a few years ago there were three secondhand bookshops in Woodstock. As I moved here three years ago, there were two, and one, Bladon Books, closed before I could see it; its space became overflow from an estate agents' office and I think is now a Vietnamese goods shop. Now the Woodstock Bookshop is gone. Its stock had a heavy bias towards literary criticism, and little history, and in the last year they had closed their upstairs, removing their old paperback department. I've bought a few things there over the years, mainly out of print historical books; my sister has liked to visit it too. I presume it has been killed by a combination of rising rents and the internet book trade.


Posted by: Pellegrina (pellegrina)
Posted at: April 5th, 2004 03:18 pm (UTC)

That's always sad :(

Posted by: Penny Paperbrain (pennypaperbrain)
Posted at: April 5th, 2004 04:37 pm (UTC)

I wonder if there will come a time when Hay on Wye only exists as hayonwye.com?

Posted by: Kargicq (kargicq)
Posted at: April 5th, 2004 07:09 pm (UTC)

Hmm. Of course, I deplore the closing of secondhand bookshops. I wonder how hard they've been hit by the Internet, though? I would've thought that it was more the small independents or mini-chains selling new books that have lost out to the likes of Amazon (or, a few years earlier, to Waterstones/Dillons/Smiths): it's rare to go to a secondhand shop with a particular book in mind, and browsing is still much easier in the flesh.

But then again I'm probably talking through my hat.

Posted by: Pellegrina (pellegrina)
Posted at: April 6th, 2004 12:29 am (UTC)

*Sigh* I doubt online booksellers have serendipity as a marketing goal...

Posted by: parrot_knight (parrot_knight)
Posted at: April 6th, 2004 02:44 pm (UTC)

I was quoting the internet because it's usually cited by secondhand bookshops as one of the reasons that they close - apparently a substantial section of the public used to phone round secondhand booksellers looking for a title, and would then travel to collect it in person. However, I suspect the main reason is that the rents in Woodstock have become prohibitive for somewhere with such a low turnover of stock and, I suspect, low profits.