Bye Bye Sagors

“It is better to spend one day contemplating the birth and death of all things than a hundred years never contemplating beginnings and endings.” ~~Budda

I’m always anxious for the new year to start. For me it represents beginnings. Beginnings are usually exciting and fresh, filled with so many promises I can’t close my eyes at night. Beginnings have the ability to tantalize, surprise and delight. With all that, do you wonder why I love beginnings so much? I have to admit, however, 2012 doesn’t see me beginning anything new on the writing front. I’m actually reworking a story I wrote some time ago, one of those stories that keep creeping back, begging me to keep working at it until I have the story told just so. Once that is finally done to the story’s satisfaction, I have a few new ideas I’m anxious to get started on. But all in good time. The wonderful thing about beginnings is that they can come to us at anytime not just when a new year begins.

Of course with every beginning there are also endings. It’s the way life is. Endings are sometimes as welcomed as what beginnings are, but not always. This post is about an ending to something that I only wish would never have had to end—at least not for a good long while.

In early December I received an email from the good folks at Sagors’ Bookstore in Bridgewater informing their customers that they would be closing their doors at the end of the month, and it made me SO sad. I hadn’t been expecting this, at least not just yet. Over the years I’d come to think of Sue and Ron as good friends, and their store a great place to stop by and chat when I had some time to spare. Sue and Ron helped me launch Bitter, Sweet, and I think they were almost as excited as I was that day! I did say almost. At any rate I was delighted to be able to share the day with them.

Sagors’ Bookstore has been on King Street since 1972. That’s a very long time. It’s hard to believe that the new year won’t find me browsing their selves for some of the latest YA Fiction. And in most cases, when I wanted a book ordered in they were able to do so. My mum also ordered many of her books this way. King Street has seen the loss of many small business over the years and it’s a real shame. Times change and people are often forced to shop in the larger stores where they can get the best deals. It’s the reality of the world we live in today. Some of us accept it willingly while others do not.

We are slowly losing our little bookstores and I can’t seem to put a positive spin on this. I wish it didn’t have to be so. I wish that people were able to support our small, independently owned bookstores instead of buying online from the larger distributors.

I can only wish for a future filled with nothing but the very best for Sue and Ron. I hope great things await you both.

Are there any independently owned bookstores in your area? Do you support them or do you purchase your books from a larger retailer that often has better buys, or do you buy your books online?

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36 Comments

  1. Torry

     /  January 9, 2012

    If you find another small book
    store where I can order from,
    please me know!!

    Reply
    • Torry, The Inside Story in Greenwood will order in books as well. I’ve also ordered some Print On Demand books there as well although you have to prepay for those ones. Other than that I don’t think there is anyone else in our area.

      Reply
  2. This is a sad fact, Laura. Convenience and price dictate which businesses survive. I shop at a few book stores, but because I live at least 30 minutes from any of them, I do a lot of shopping online. I seldom get to the big centres anymore, so it is more convenient for me this way. However, not all my purchases are made through Chapters; I’ve also ordered books from independant book stores in the Valley and in Halifax, more often when I’m looking for out of print books.

    There is a local used book store which I have bought books from.

    We are moving toward a society of box stores with no personality. I slow this trend down as much as possible by refusing to shop at this large retailers. I feel they are taking my money and running to another country with it. By shopping local at small retailers, the money stays in the community. I find myself consciously making this decision more and more as the years go by.

    Reply
    • It seems as though it is a decision that many of us are having to make. Maybe I’m just stuck in the past.. I don’t shop online. Period. I’m not saying this won’t change in the future because more than likely it will.

      Bridgewater also has a Coles store. I know the people who work there and they are nice so I won’t feel so bad shifting all my business over to them. I’d been supporting both Coles and Sagors’ although to be honest I felt more loyalty toward Sagors. It’s not easy for small businesses to keep going. I could truly appreciate that fact. If I want to order something special, as you say, there are independent bookstores in the Valley although we don’t frequent there. Still, I have made special trips out when it was a book I really wanted. Another book-lover would understand this, many others probably wouldn’t.

      Reply
  3. There is one local bookstore about 25 minutes from my home and it’s always fun to go in there. However, I mostly buy my books used (from places like Half Price Books or Goodwill or Half.com). If I buy something new then I do so from either Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Or in some cases directly from the publisher. Price is the biggest factor for me in deciding where to buy. I wish it didn’t have to be but I’m on a budget. And if I lived closer to town I would buy a lot less new books because our libraries have a good selection.

    Reply
    • I think you represent many people, Leah, in that you have to go where the bargains are regardless of how much we might want to support local businesses in our area. This is the very reason why so many small businesses struggle to survive. It’s a sad truth.

      Reply
  4. I live in a historical area, and the village has only these little shops. From my understanding, the owners do so out love and not out of finanacial profit. There are little coffee shops, and clothing store, most in buildings that are historical sites, and one of them is a wonderful children’s bookstore. I am happy to say that last year they expanded. I have no idea how business is holding up under the expasion, and I feel that I am always holdiing my breath a little, aniticpating its closure. They do not carry any adult fiction, but the children’s books they carry are things I will not find at the large chain store, so I’m kind of a regular there. And their YA section is enormous!

    Reply
    • The area you live in sounds wonderful, Jennifer. I can almost picture it in my mind, but then I’m a lover of historical things, always have been.

      It’s nice to hear that there are some independent bookstore still hanging i there, and even expanding! An enormous YA section….Sounds like heaven to me.. :)

      Reply
      • The expansion meant that something else had gone under though – in this case it was a holilstic shop- I thought it was quite brave of the owners, but I was so excited and happy!

        It might please you to know that this is the shop where I bought Bitter, Sweet :)

        And yes, it is kind of like my heaven around here :)

        Reply
        • wondered when you mentioned this bookstore if it was where you bought Bitter, Sweet. Seems so cool to have books in stores so far away from home. :)

  5. Laura, the story of Sue and Ron is becoming an all-too familiar one. My first love was and still is the library, my second is to browse the stacks at any local bookstore. It’s the touch, the scent and the excitment of pulling a book off a real shelf that delights book lovers everywhere. I buy from all over, still borrow from libraries, still want to walk throught those doors and find my version of Sue and Ron :)

    Reply
  6. Thanks, Florence. Although many of us still feel this way about little bookstores it still doesn’t seem to be enough of us. The news of closures are becoming way too familiar.

    There is something wonderful about books, many books, all stacked on shelves be it at the library or bookstore. :)

    Reply
  7. So sorry to hear about the closing of yet another independant bookstore. I buy most of my books at the small bookstores in my community. They have been so supportive of my books and the staff are so friendly and helpful. I love the feeling when I walk into a small bookstore. Love your quote at the beginning too.

    Reply
    • it is sad, Darlene. These small bookstores are always so friendly and inviting it just a pleasure to get to know the people who work there. Often times they are very support of local authors which is always nice for us. Glad you liked the opening quote. :)

      Reply
  8. I think there are only two book exchanges left in Miami. I don’t know how they stay in business. Your opening about beginnings appealed to me. I used to measure another year by New Year of course and by my birthday. Then there is IRS tax year and the Miami Dade school system runs on a July to July fiscal year. The election years. But now I measure a year’s time quite differently. Mar 2, 2012 – 10 years clean and sober.

    Reply
    • Carl, there are many ways to mark a new year, as you pointed out. Congrats to you on your upcoming ten year anniversary. This makes me happy. :) What a great milestone.

      Reply
    • Congratulations Carl! I am so very happy for your success.

      Reply
  9. I saw a small book store recently, not far from home. I do want to visit. I try to borrow as many books as I can from the library, but I shop my local Barnes & Noble, or order online, in that order.

    Reply
    • Libraries are wonderful, too! I wish we had one handy. Although the bookmobile comes through once a month, I find it difficult to return books those months when I’m working.

      Reply
  10. Pam C

     /  January 9, 2012

    Here in the north of Calgary we have Pages on Kensington, which is a great bookstore that supports local authors through lots of author readings, etc. I do support them. But it’s hard not to be tempted by the convenience of online shopping.

    Reply
  11. It sounds great, Pam! And I know it is difficult for many not to be tempted by on line shopping not only for the convenience but the added bonus of saving money. Many of us can relate to that.

    Perhaps in years to some we won’t have to leave our homes to shop at all. ;)

    Reply
    • Pam C

       /  January 9, 2012

      Ah, but imagine never having the experience of walking into a terrific bookstore full of possibilities…not to mention having access to the staff who can give you the best recommendations…

      Reply
      • Now that is something I just couldn’t bear, Pam.. Yes, I love browsing, yes, I’m a bit of a chatterbox. Who was I trying to kid anyway? Thanks for that dose of reality. lol

        Reply
  12. It’s so sad to hear another independent bookstore is closing. There is one that is close to me and I’m always worrying that the e-reader revolution and big box stores are going to eventually shut it down, too. I have to say one of the things I miss most about London is the fact that there are loads of independent book stores. :-)

    Reply
    • It is sad, C.B. But it made me feel glad t learn that there are places on this planet where independent bookstores are still thriving. That is something to celebrate. :)

      Reply
  13. that sucks. a bunch of bookstores have closed around here over the years but the one closest is an indie and it expanded.

    Reply
    • Pretty much sucks big time as far as I’m concerned. Glad to hear that and indie store near you has expanded. Someone else mentioned the same. I’m glad al the independent stores are being forced out.

      BTW thanks for dropping in. I’m off to check out your blog.

      Reply
  14. That is sad! I buy my reading material in a variety of places-Book Market (used book store right around the corner from us), Chapters, online and at the Comic Book Shoppe.

    What grates my cheese is how many libraries are closing, particularly in Toronto. Those are wonderful places and we should hold on to them!

    Reply
    • I also buy from used bookstores. Our local hospital has a second-hand clothing store where they also sell pretty much anything that’s donated. I do find lots of great books there and very reasonably priced.

      I’m just shaking my head about the closure of our libraries. How can anyone think that is a good thing? Grrr

      Reply
      • Julie

         /  January 12, 2012

        The Daisy is my favourite spot to look for books. Can’t beat a book for a buck.

        However, it’s too bad about Sagors. Too bad about all local businesses, really. I wish I had the cash to support them all.

        Reply
        • Lots of sweet deals at the Daisy. Haven’t seen my book there yet. I mean that would be a bit weird. Would I buy it or wait to see if someone else would?

          Maybe that’s a blog post sometime….lol

  15. I still don’t understand the teapot w/ lipstick avatar …. There is one indie book store in town, they tend to carry lots of used books, something I won’t buy (or borrow – OCD yaknow) but I do order stuff from them even though the cost & shipping is higher than Amazon

    Reply
  16. That’s a teapot? I guess I couldn’t see past the lips…

    It’s nice to know that some Indie stores are surviving. Sagors was the oldest on in the Maritimes I’m told. And well, I like old things..

    Reply
  17. I know we have a a few small independent book stores in the area but I kinda forget about them to be honest. They aren’t exactly near me and it’s easier for me to just purchase a book off Amazon. In most cases it’s cheaper, plus it’s easier. It makes me sad to hear about the local shops closing though, but I feel like a jerk at the same time because it’s not like I’m helping them!

    Reply
  18. B, you’re certainly not alone. The convenience of ordering online plus the money that we save are not things to just pass off. You shouldn’t feel like a jerk. It’s just the way things are.I think perhaps, for many small business, their customers are people who have been with them for years and who remain loyal for a variety of reasons.

    Thanks for dropping in and for commenting. It’s always nice to meet new bloggers. :)

    Reply
  1. Celebrating Sagors’ « Laura Best, author

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