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A Used Book Store Goes Under

I gotta say, this is the most chilling description in the whole article: "...the bookseller said many people find books at his store, copy or take cell camera photos of the titles, then go home to order them online."

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The final chapter for Bing's Books

Karen Bingham, owner of Bing's Books in Lower Sackville, says she can no longer compete with the popularity of e-readers. DARRELL OAKE

Karen Bingham, owner of Bing's Books in Lower Sackville, says she can no longer compete with the popularity of e-readers. DARRELL OAKE

by Yvette d'Entremont

It's the final chapter for Bing's Books in Lower Sackville.

After seven years, the owner of the used bookstore is being forced to close her doors. Karen Bingham said she can no longer compete with the popularity of e-readers.

Business was on the decline over the past year. In recent months, Bingham was barely bringing in enough to pay for the building. That's when she realized her lifelong dream of owning a second hand bookstore was about to end.

"After Mother's Day I had a few of my best customers who were basically keeping me in business come in to say good-bye because they'd gotten e-readers as gifts," Bingham recalled. "Then my niece decided to get one, and when I went shopping with her all the new fangled stuff on it almost made me want one. Then I knew I was in trouble."

The ability to increase font sizes and the ease of use are a few of the reasons customers have for choosing e-readers. Bingham's now spreading the word far and wide so customers know she's closing up shop.

"Customers are taking it really well. I was worried about some of them being mad at me about the credit," she said. "That's one of the reasons I want to give notice before we're gone for good, so people can use up their credit or gift certificates."

Bingham isn't sure when the store will close, but she'll post updated information on her website at www.bingsbooks.ca. The books she can't sell will likely be given away to local schools or stored.

"This is sad for me for many reasons. I have a regular customer from England, some from Quebec, and one from New Brunswick that I mail boxes of books to," she said. "There are a couple of house bound people I bring books to because we deliver in Sackville and it's unfortunate for them."

Are second hand bookstores going the way of the dinosaur? Books R Us in Halifax and Dartmouth's Book Rack are two recent casualties whose doors have closed.

One Halifax-based seller who didn't want to be identified strongly believes second hand bookstores are a dying breed. He said things he used to have trouble keeping on the shelves never move.

Books about nature, animals, local history, cookbooks and dictionaries used to sell relatively quickly, but now he can't get rid of them. He said that's because everything is so easily accessible on the internet.

(more)

http://www.halifaxnewsnet.ca/Business/2011-10-24/article-2784761/The-final-chapter-for-Bings-Books/1?newsletterid=251&date=2011-10-26-07

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End of An Era?

Dale,

So much for change masking as "progress."  We are seemingly  and unwillingly (I hope) witnessing the end of an era.  All we're left with is nostalgia, a poor but regrettably the only readily available substitute for the real thing!

Brenden