Bad news for Fremont bibliophiles, Fremont Place Books will be closing its doors on February 27th. Owner Henry Burton sent out an email today confirming the closure and letting people know how they can celebrate this longtime Fremont fixture before it closes forever.
Because sales have dropped precipitously and the bookstore’s debts have increased dramatically, we have reached the point where the business is no longer sustainable. Whether people are using e-readers, using the library, buying books online, choosing to shop elsewhere, or simply not buying books at all, the basic fact is that we have not been selling enough books to keep the business going.
The store has been an important landmark and community asset in Fremont for 22 years. It has been a privilege for me to be part of that history for the past 7 years. I am grateful to Kim, Carol and Polly for the vision, creativity and efforts they devoted to the store before me. I had hoped to continue their legacy until the time came to hand the store over to the next enthusiastic owner. I never wanted it to come to this.
Local, independent bookstores are so much more than places to purchase a product. They are centers for inspiration, information sharing, and community building. As such I have felt a tremendous responsibility to keep the store open. I am well aware that closing the store is not only a loss for me personally, but also a great loss to Fremont. I am saddened and concerned that so many of our unique neighborhood bookstores are closing or struggling to stay afloat. I hope we can all do our part to help them prosper.
I am immensely grateful to all of you for your support, encouragement and advice. What I will miss the most is my interactions with all the wonderful people who have come into the store, many of whom I now consider friends. I will miss all of you greatly.
We will be holding an open house on February 27th from 12-6. Please stop by and help us celebrate all that is great about books, bookselling, and being part of a community.
Between this and the news that Ophelia’s will likely close in March, the Fremont indie bookstore scene is suddenly dying a quick death. Ack. (H/T: Joe)
Update: Good news! Lisa from Ophelia’s chimed in to let us know that store isn’t going anywhere. Ophelia’s Books will be changing hands in March. I’ve found a wonderful buyer with tons of enthusiasm, for both books and cats.