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Books & Lit

Bad news greets Toronto bookstores in 2012

Posted by Derek Flack / January 3, 2012

Toronto BookstoresDespite the relative youth of 2012, this year already appears set to be a bad one for Toronto bookshops. Continuing a trend that has seen the closure of Pages, This Ain't the Rosedale Library, and Ballenford Books, Quill & Quire reports that the Book Mark is set to shut its doors on or before January 21st. The oldest independent bookshop in the city, despite a few location changes, the store has been in steady operation for over 45 years. In a press release issued earlier today, owner Sue Houghting explains that if the Book Mark's stock runs short prior to the scheduled closure date, she'll close up early. Talk about unceremonious endings.

Not surprisingly, Houghting cites a rent increase as the chief cause for the store's closure. No doubt sales are down, too. The fate of Glad Day Bookshop is also uncertain in the new year. The longest surviving LGBT bookstore in the world (after the closure of the Oscar Wilde Bookshop in 2009), its current owner, John Scythes, recently told the Toronto Star he's looking to sell the shop to a friend or sympathetic member of his client base before offering it up to the public. In our 2008 profile of the store, manager Sholem Krishtalka spoke of the hardships the store faced, not the least of which involved hefty legal fees stemming from a battle with the Ontario Film Review Board.

Despite the efforts of customers and community members to help offset the fees associated with the legal proceedings, Scythes had to cover most of the costs out of his own pocket. And given how difficult independent bookstores have found it to survive without added financial pressure in Toronto, it's hardly surprising that Glad Day's future is up in the air. Fingers crossed that someone's willing to give it a new lease on life later this year.



Lioness / January 3, 2012 at 03:58 pm
I bought 5 books at the Bookmark as Christmas presents this year. I will be sorry to see it go.
bookmark / January 3, 2012 at 06:21 pm
the book mark was a great store, the ladies who ran it their customer service was excellent.
COLES,INDIGO,CHAPTERS,AMAZON and KOBO!!! / January 3, 2012 at 06:36 pm
It's nothing personal. Just business.

brent / January 3, 2012 at 09:56 pm
well the owner of GLAD DAY is quite rude and obnoxious, I told him that he was going to go out of business becuz of his attitude, besides his books were at least 70% more expensive than other book stores.
so goodbye SAD DAY, nobody buys porn any more its free on the internet lol
IhaveAlongFKNnameBitchDahellYouGoneDoAboutIT / January 3, 2012 at 10:03 pm
I hate RUDE owners. they think the last bottle of water in the dessert or some thing.
Ian / January 6, 2012 at 02:25 am
Independent businesses are always going to threatened by corporate giants who want to dominate their industry. Many Independent bookstores could not keep up with the technology that the large chains had their disposal, but many others would not work with other independents to put up a common fight.

Small business has to work smarter, not harder to survive. I chose to move my office to a coworking environment where I share office space with other businesses who are working together to keep their independence, rather than trying to do it alone.
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