Thursday, 1 September 2005

RIP: Kepler's Bookstore

Of all the places where I've read from and signed copies of my books , there is none of those appearances of which I am more proud than the one on 25 January 1998 at Kepler's Books in Menlo Park, California. Not because of anything I said -- although the audience was one of the best, and had some of the most interesting comments and questions, I've ever faced -- but because it was such a pleasure, and an honor, to be invited to a place of which it could truthfully be said, on its 50th birthday just a few months ago, that Kepler's changed the world .

Today, Kepler's has closed :

Dear Friend of Kepler's,

After 50 years of bookselling in Menlo Park, Kepler's is going out of business. The decision to close our doors has been one of the most difficult in my life. As much as we love what we do and would like to continue another 50 years, we simply cannot. The economic downturn since 2001 has proven to be more than we can rebound from.

I want to share my sorrow with this ending. Kepler's has enjoyed the support of this community from our inception in the 1950s, through both turbulent and joyful times. I feel blessed to have personally served as this community's bookseller for 26 of those years.

In today's political and social climate I would like to be there with you and for you, providing books and writers with varied ideas and provocative opinions, but the constancy of change will not allow it. So, I want to express my heart felt gratitude and appreciation for your support over the years. It has been wonderful.

Sincerely,

Clark Kepler

Those of us who love books have become almost inured to the litany of closings of independent bookstores. But Kepler's wasn't "just another bookstore". My heart goes out to Clark Kepler, and to all the bookstore staff.

[Addendum: KQED-FM Forum on Independent Bookstores , broadcast 7 September 2005, with Clark Kepler, Andy Ross of Cody's Books in Berkeley, Bill Petrocelli of Book Passage in Marin County, and Dave Weich of Powell's Books in Portland, Oregon.]

Link | Posted by Edward on Thursday, 1 September 2005, 14:18 ( 2:18 PM) | TrackBack (0)
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