Bookman's Alley is closing
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It's a shame. I understand why, but it would have been nice if he'd brought in a younger partner a while back who could have taken over, as happened with O'Gara & Wilson's.
I was in there a couple of weeks ago, and that sure seemed to be in the air. Yes, sad.
A shame indeed. I will say, however, that the gentleman's prices were just absurd; this is certainly not 1990 anymore and booksellers do not have the luxury of just naming their price and hoping people will pay for it. It is a competative market, and unfortunately, the proprieter, like may before him, stubbornly refused to engage online sellers.
I'm not sure what you mean by "engage online sellers"? He didn't buy books online? But he certainly didn't lack for inventory. I agree that his pricing was often not competitive; but it is a delightful shop, and he extended me credit on sight. I was interested in a lovely copy of Salammbo, and didn't have much cash in my pocket to pay the (in this case, perfectly reasonable) price. He wouldn't accept plastic, but said: "Take the book, here's my card. Come back and pay me later, or mail me a check."
He outright refused to do business online. He thought it was impersonal (which it can be) and that it gave the customer too much power in determining what a book's "true value" was. Though his business practices are clearly anachronistic, your experience with him shows that there there is a virtue to the old way of doing business, with the gentleman's handshake and the like. There is probably a good balance to be had.
Sigh. Kept telling myself I'd visit since I'd only been as an undergraduate, at which time I lacked both the means and appreciation to acquire any of his titles. I guess I have a couple more months to make good on my promise to myself.
Too bad. This used to be a Father's Day stop for this Chicagoan. It's quite a store.
Oh, I am so saddened to hear about the loss of any bookshop, this was a lovely one.
So sad, it's a great shop and it was always a stop when we were in Evanston.
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