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General Discussions Topics >> The News >> Clarkesworld Books is closing

Message started by Silver on 04. May 2007 at 00:30

Title: Clarkesworld Books is closing
Post by Silver on 04. May 2007 at 00:30

Neil Clarke, owner/proprietor of Clarkesworld Books, has announced they're closing up shop:

Neil relates that they had a tragic episode involving the loss of their baby. He's apparently planning to continue with his magazine project, and perhaps publish books through a new small press business.

Neil has been a longtime participant in the Blaylock discussion forums here. Hopefully that won't end, too!

Neil, I'm terribly sorry to hear of your loss, and I'm likewise bummed that another indie bookshop is closing up!

For those unaware, indie bookshops have been closing their doors around the country over the past decade, and the trend just seems to be accelerating.

Just a few weeks ago, I was in New York City at a conference, and I decided to walk a few blocks over to the Gotham Book Mart. The Gotham has been around for many decades, and one of the owners was a close friend of the author/illustrator, Edward Gorey. I'd made a habit of visiting the shop every spring, since they would usually host a little exhibit of Goreyana, ever since Gorey died.

I was terribly saddened that the Gotham has now closed its doors, apparently for good. Three generations of a family had operated it! I think it was put to death by excessive rents which kept increasing. They'd only just moved out of the Diamond Way diamond-dealer district where they'd been for so long. The shop window still had the little stuffed Gorey book characters in their little rocking chairs.

Made me feel like a dinosaur. I nearly cried in the street.

Makes me sound faintly ridiculous and melodramatic, I know, but this wasn't the first time this has happened to me. Check out the webpage for Avenue Victor Hugo in Boston, which closed a few years ago - another one of my old faves:

I've seen similar closings in California, Texas, and elsewhere. All eaten up by the internet and mega-corporation bookstores, I guess:, eBay, Barnes & Noble, and Borders.

Title: Re: Clarkesworld Books is closing
Post by Jim_Fortner on 12. May 2007 at 04:56

That's a shame - I bought a book from him a few years ago, I think it was just after 9/11/01...  I hope things work out.

Title: .Re: Clarkesworld Books is closing
Post by jhagman on 12. May 2007 at 17:52

I once visited the Gotham Bookmart. It was around 1990, I remember finding some John Buchan novels in that shadowy old bookstore- but maybe it was my memories that are shadowy. I just remember that the store seemed to be out of a Christopher Morley story, being a Californian, and a person who was raised on a horse farm, I walked around New York like a veritable hayseed. It is a shame that Gotham is gone.

Title: Re: Clarkesworld Books is closing
Post by faere on 26. May 2007 at 04:19

I. too find it so sad to see these gems go! there was an old place in Lakeside (Denver) Colorado, called the Brownstone & i'd been in a few times & next time i wanted to go the place had closed! i must say, that when this happens i peruse the shelves at the big chains... and actually spent an hour in B&N, and didn't buy anything. actually hadn't bought a book in long while & ended up buying Eldest at Safeway, of all places. i know, i said i would read in on "who's reading what" page ages ago, but i finally have a bit more time now that classes are over! so back to the books when i'm not gardening. i think i'll try to make a mission of looking for some of the other old shaops that have been in Denver a while. i found a tattered copy of a Tolkien book at a Broadway store too many years ago, and wouldn't part with it even though a chapter was missing! i'll post the locations when i have a moment, if anyone visits Denver, they can swing into one of them.

Title: Re: Clarkesworld Books is closing
Post by Clarkesworld Books on 09. Jun 2007 at 03:06

Sorry it's taken me so long to get back over here.  I appreciate the kind words about my store and really wish it didn't have to end.  I'm going to be selling off inventory for a few months still, but then that's it.

I'm making progress with the publishing company I started (we've signed Gene Wolfe, Charles Stross, and Tobias Buckell to limited editions) and the magazine is being well-received.  Who knows, maybe someday I'll be lucky enough to do a Blaylock book.  That would be very cool.

It's definitely been a bad year for online booksellers.  I know at least two others that are closing and the new USPS rates are likely to make it harder for those still around.  I know I would have lost a healthy chunk of my international sales.  That said, I had a lot of fun doing it and hope to get the chance to do it again someday.  Next time though, someone else packs and ships the orders!


Title: Re: Clarkesworld Books is closing
Post by Silver on 09. Jun 2007 at 18:47

I wrote a blog article about the closing of the Gotham bookstore, and problems that indie bookstores are experiencing throughout the country:

It includes an update on the fate of the books from the Gotham... sorry to say there's insult on injury with how it all played out.

Title: Re: Clarkesworld Books is closing
Post by Clarkesworld Books on 12. Jun 2007 at 00:48

That's pretty awful.  I feel for them.  At least I'm getting to sell off my inventory on my own terms.

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