I’m writing you today with sad news: the owner of the bookstore, John Fernyak, has decided it’s time to close Main Street Books’ doors permanently. Our last day will be Saturday, September 26.
As the manager for over nine years, I want to thank all of you who have supported the bookstore. It’s not easy for independent bookstores to survive anywhere, but is especially challenging in little towns like Mansfield. I fought day in and out to keep the bookstore open, but it was ultimately a losing battle.
I should clarify, though, that this doesn’t mean I think the bookstore wasn’t successful. I don’t believe success in this case has anything to do with money. I think it has to do with the number of lives the bookstore has touched and made richer and our contribution to making Mansfield a better, more complex and interesting place to live.
Thanks to all of you who made me “The Bookstore Lady.” When I tell people this is a dream job, I am not exaggerating. I have loved every minute of recommending books to you, introducing you to authors who’ve come to speak, talking about books and writing with you, hanging new art, making crafts, playing with your children, and even finding the perfect gifts for your loved ones. Definitely the most rewarding job I’ve ever had; so much so that it became my personality.
And truly, I am concerned about the cultural hole this will be leaving in our town. I don’t know how to fix it except to hope you all keep reading and meeting to discuss books and keep writing and meeting to discuss that writing. Use our wonderful library! Use the online sources that support anyone other than Jeff Bezos.
If you’d like to continue supporting independent bookstores, I urge you to order your books through Bookshop.org, an organization that supports the hundreds of indies around the country. Part of every purchase made through them goes to independent bookstores. You can get Amazon-alternative audiobooks there, too. The links will take you to Libro.fm, another indie-friendly book site. Powell’s Books, out of Portland, is a great source for used books online if you can’t find your book new anywhere.
Keep fighting the good fight and I promise I will as well. Come visit me before the 26th, for I will miss you all dearly.