Like virtually every other nerdy Castro resident, I was crushed to learn Tuesday that the Books Inc. at 2275 Market Street would close in June. Hoodline broke the story, noting that the company was set to open up a location in Santa Clara and that no layoffs would be made. But the Castro bookstore was the chain's first location and the closure hit CEO Michael Tucker hard. (You could smell something last year, when Books Inc. stopped issuing buy-10-get-one-free cards, although they've continued to honor them.)
So it's wonderful news to hear that, one month before Books Inc. closes, Dog Eared Books will open up in the space on Castro Street that's about to be vacated by men's boutique Citizen. It's a fitting spiritual home, as 489 Castro used to house A Different Light, the LGBT bookstore that shut its doors five years ago.
[jump] Via Facebook, the company posted the announcement yesterday afternoon, noting that like the original Dog Eared Books at 900 Valencia, the satellite location will sell “new, used, and discount books, along with stationery, posters, cards, and maps.”
They'll be carrying lots of local and LGBT writers, and maintaining “a full calendar of readings, book groups, release parties, and other adventurous literary events,” as well. Look for an opening gala on June 20.
There have been lots of trend pieces in the last year about how the rise of e-books and Amazon hasn't hurt independent (especially used) bookstores. Still, San Francisco's scene has been mixed, with Bibliohead in Hayes Valley and Badger (formerly Red Hill) in Bernal Heights closing in the last few years. Although Green Apple expanded from the Inner Richmond to the Inner Sunset, Borderlands on Valencia Street barely evading closure last year. And Amazon is still planning to open as many as 400 brick-and-mortar locations.
UPDATE: Dog Eared Books owner Kate Rosenberger responded to SF Weekly's inquiry about the timing, stating that Dog Eared has no further expansion plans and that rent is “comparable” to what they're paying at the Valencia Street location.
“We've been looking for a couple of months — at a couple of different spaces —and then we were lucky enough to get the old Different Light space,” she wrote by email. “Phew! In this day and age!”