Slice of Life: It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye (to a Bookstore)

slice of life

While recently surfing through the internet, I found out that one of my favorite local independent bookstores, Second Story, was going out of business. It had been a while since I last traveled there because I’ve been pretty busy due to my current work and tutoring schedule. Needless to say, this recent discovery left me crushed. I became saddened and thought “How could this happen?” and “Oh no! We’ve lost another one (bookstore)”. Mind you, I’m still mourning the loss of Borders years after its closing in 2011.

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I became very bummed out and I felt my heart-break a little bit since this bookstore was so close to home. It also had one of the largest selections of used and new books in the area. I had been shopping at Second Story ever since I was in elementary school and I could remember all of the happy times I found the perfect book to take home and read.

After discovering its imminent closing, I immediately took a trip to the store to visit and peruse the shelves for what would soon be one of my last journeys.

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As I entered the store it was busier than usual, due to it being the weekend and because of the news of its impending closing. As I tried to quietly and respectfully shop for books, I was constantly disrupted by noises and loud talking from patrons who obviously aren’t clued into bookstore etiquette. The people who were avid readers/shoppers seemed to be quiet, but the customers who obviously don’t patronize a bookstore until it’s going out of business were so noisy! Kids kept running around unsupervised, people were shouting at each other over the aisles, and I became irritated because I couldn’t even enjoy one of my last browsing experiences! I’m not exaggerating or trying to be condescending because I fully understand that a bookstore is no library, but you should still be respectful.

Similarly, to when Borders was closing, the shelves were pretty much barren and it looked like the store had been pillaged. Where these same people buying books at Second Story when the store needed their support?

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Though it is sad, I’m not all that surprised since online stores and major brick and mortar bookstores have been killing small businesses like these. It’s getting harder and harder to keep stores like Second Story open. It’s a lot larger than most of the indie bookstores in the area, so I know it was hard to maintain sales due to the size of the building. Though indie bookstores have been making a comeback with a couple of shops popping up here and there, it’s still a fierce competition to keep doors open.

Please go support your local bookstores! Whether it’s buying one or two books on occasion, every little bit helps! Nothing can beat the experience of being able to walk in a bookstore, peruse the shelves, and flip through the pages of multiple books. Don’t let what happened to Second Story, happen to your own local bookstores.

In 2015, the first national Independent Bookstore Day was held in the US. It occurred during the same weekend as Free Comic Book Day (May 2nd) and it was a huge success. This spring, Independent Bookstore Day returns on April 30th. It’s a great opportunity to support your local store and show them that you care!

Second Story will be closing its doors on March 5th, so if you live the Eastpointe, MI area be sure to stop by.

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*All pictures except the last one were taken by me with my Android phone

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