What seemed inconceivable for this college town just a few years ago is now a fact. There will no longer be an independently owned bookstore for new books in, not only Ithaca, but all of Tompkins County. After many years of hard work and much, much joy, I am sad to announce that I will be closing Buffalo Street Books. This has been an incredibly difficult decision to make, one that many of you know I've been forced to contemplate for quite a while. The positives and negatives of owning and operating an independent bricks-and-mortar bookstore are many with the perks far, far outweighing the bumps but for personal reasons and a rapidly diminishing bottom line, I finally have no choice.
This has been, I think, a long time coming--Gary Weissbrot, our friend, and the owner of the store, nearly closed before, and it's an extraordinary achievement to have kept the place going for five years. He deserves a lot of thanks for providing Ithaca with a wonderful environment for readers and writers, and we will miss the place.
This is the first time in my entire adult life that I will have lived in a town without a viable independent bookstore. We have a Borders (though not for long, I'm sure) and a B&N, along with the Cornell Store, which has a small, decent trade-book section (about one-third the size of the sweatshirt section). But really, I think this pretty much ends the period of my life when I go book shopping in bookstores, at least in my home town. I don't like the chains at all, not because they're chains, but because their aesthetic depresses and repels me. I'll be ordering from Amazon, either for delivery or download. And every few months I'll drive downstate and visit the Strand.
End of an era! Thanks, Gary, for giving it a little more life.