Bookland Vernon announced it will be closing in April on March 2, 2020, after more than 50 years downtown. (Google Maps)

Bookland Vernon announced it will be closing in April on March 2, 2020, after more than 50 years downtown. (Google Maps)

Bookland Vernon closure ‘long overdue,’ president says

Bookstore serves community for more than 50 years, succumbs to digital era

A bookstore in downtown Vernon has announced it will be closing its doors next month.

After serving the community for more than 50 years, Bookland Vernon turned to social media March 2 to alert its customers of the tough decision.

“After much consideration, we have decided to close Bookland’s doors this coming April,” the social media post read.

Monahan Agency president Tamara Lochhead said this decision was a long time coming.

“It was probably something long overdue,” she said. “It’s something we’ve tried to fight against for the last few years and just weren’t able to make any headway.”

The post to social media said the company has “found it difficult to compete in the digital age.”

“It’s sad for everyone here,” Lochhead said. “We’ve been watching the industry as a whole change over the past 12 years.”

Electronic paper and E-readers were first released in 2004 and three years later Amazon released the first Kindle, which sold out within hours.

The Pew Research Centre in the United States released data last fall that found print the most popular format of the seven-in-ten U.S. adults that have read a book in the past year. Sixty-five per cent of respondents said they had read a print book in the past 12 months, while only seven per cent said they preferred digital — audiobook or e-book.

Lochhead said the closure of Bookland was not unexpected.

But it marks the end of an era and Bookland’s customers are sharing their fond memories on Facebook.

The Morning Star’s initial story received more than 90 comments from fans of the bookshop.

“One of my favourite places and it will be sadly missed,” Colleen Beckley wrote.

“I was just in there a month ago and had forgotten what an awesome store it was,” Sandrella Smith wrote. “I left vowing to go back more often.”

Lochhead said the support is nice to see, but it’s too late.

“It’s unfortunate the support for the bookstore really showed only when it was closing,” she said.

The Monahan Agency has given notice on the lease of the 30th Avenue store and Lochhead said what happens next is up to the landlord and its tenants.

“We will miss seeing so many of you on a regular basis and hope you come in to say goodbye before we close,” the post from Bookland reads.

READ MORE: Art breathes new life in empty store in Vernon

READ MORE: Bookland Vernon to close down


@caitleerach
Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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