What better reason to give ol' SpendLocally.ca a little much-needed love than to memorialize one of my favourite local businesses. Sadly, my favourite bookstore in Vancouver, Duthie Books, has closed their final location in Kits, after 53 years in business.
From the press release posted on their website:
Everybody knows that Independent bookstores have been under pressure from the 'big box' operations for many years now and it is clear that it is not going to get any better; the likes of Chapters, and Amazon are ruthless in their drive for market share and we cannot compete on price anymore. The book itself is in the throes of a technological transformation and book readers undergoing a major demographic shift.
A long time pillar of the community, and family owned business, Duthie's used to be a chain, but was forced to do some major restructuring about ten years ago. It was far and above my favourite bookstore in the city...in fact, the only one here I really loved. They consistently had a great selection, and promoted local authors, as well as smaller publishers; consistently one of the only places to keep a decent stock of McSweeney's books.
Duthie's was the one bookstore I could trust to have excellent taste, anything on their feature shelves was quite sure to be a winner. The people who worked there were dedicated book lovers, with dependable recommendations, and it is so sad for our community to lose that resource.
I made my pilgrimage to Duthie's a few weeks ago, and bought up whatever McSweeney's they had that I didn't yet, and said my goodbyes. I'm far from the only person to make that sad trip, I don't know how the Duthie's crew held up as well as they did. Total heartbreak.
I guess I'll have to save up my book buying for trips to Munro's in Victoria and Powell's in Portland, and settle for Book Warehouse in the in betweens (at least they're local, and the one on Denman has a nice little graphic novel section). So long Duthie Books, we'll miss you.
Read other articles about their closure:
- Vancouver Sun: Vancouver's Duthie Books to shut down after 52 [sic] years
- National Post: Vancouver's Duthie Books to close after 53 years
- NowPublic: Duthie Books to Close Down in Vancouver
- Books on the Radio: Some Thoughts on the Closure of Duthie Books on 4th Avenue
- Celia Duthie's Blog (lots about the history of the company): 5 Decades of Duthie Books