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The Cat's Out of the Bag

Yes, it's true. DreamHaven is closing as a physical bookstore. At the end of January, 2012 I'll no longer have regular hours and will concentrate on the mail order business and conventions. I'm not planning to move so it's conceivable that I'll open the doors once in a while and have a sale or even host some sort of event. But I won't maintain any regular hours.

Things were going quite well until the end of 2010. From January 2011 to mid April, nearly 50% of the walk-in business just disappeared. While business has picked up slightly since then, it's still way off. I blame A) The Economy B) Changing Dynamics of Retail (online shopping) C) E-Books. Each one of these could make quite a difference on their own but all together they spell disaster for many retailers. I've been hedging my bets for some time and I've been buying good used and rare books and collectibles and I'm doing well with them. Ironically, the store is better stocked than ever and I'm more pleased with the overall store "experience" than I've ever been. I will boast of one of the greatest selections of used and rare SF/Fantasy/Horror anywhere, also possibly the largest selection of rare and unusual SF and Horror Film books in existence. While my collectible comics selection is weak (but after this past week it's very much stronger) I have more comics-related material (fanzines, graphic novels, art books, posters, prints, etc) than anyone in this area. So, all-in-all, the store looks great. Too bad so few people come in to enjoy it.

Sadly, some of those who do come in to enjoy it, abuse it terribly. Theft is up so far it's almost off the charts. Again, I blame the economy for the rise, but it doesn't really explain the fact that people seem to not care who gets hurt as long as they get the things they want. I lose in the neighborhood of 5 - 20 THOUSAND dollars a year to theft and have for the last three decades.

I'm very excited about this next phase in my bookselling career. I started selling books 40 years ago and opened my store 35 years ago. I'm too young to retire; even if I had the means to do so, I don't think I could. But I can slow down and maybe take more time to enjoy myself. And that's what I plan to do.

Thanks everybody. I hope everyone can stop in between now and the end of january 2012, if for no other reason that to help me clear out some of the amazing (amounts of junk) stuff I have to offer.



( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 17th, 2011 11:19 pm (UTC)
From January 2011 to mid April we at my public library noticed a rise in inquiries about ebooks over this same period.
Oct. 18th, 2011 12:49 am (UTC)
It will be disappointing to lose the chance to browse at the store, but I think that your peace of mind is worth something too, so I understand. I will look forward to seeing you at the conventions.
Oct. 18th, 2011 12:58 am (UTC)
Oh, sad! I'm glad you're not getting out of the book business entirely, but it's always sad to see a brick-and-mortar store close. I have fond memories of Dreamhaven, but not the time or money that I used to.
Oct. 18th, 2011 12:58 am (UTC)
I was very proud to have been part of DreamHaven for a good long time. It was neat to see the store evolve over the years.
Oct. 18th, 2011 01:39 am (UTC)
I am sorry to see the physical store close.
Oct. 18th, 2011 02:02 am (UTC)
I hope the change works well for you. Unfortunately, like other commenters, cash is short and I'm a bit far away to just drop by. :(
Oct. 18th, 2011 05:20 am (UTC)
It's a shame that you are closing but when I first saw the news my first thought indeed twas that this would indeed solve your problem with theft. You will not be entirely gone, so that's good.

I hope to be able to come by week after next when I come and visit my friend Lorraine. We'll see how her schedule goes.
Oct. 18th, 2011 11:27 am (UTC)
I'm sad to see the store close Greg. I Wish I made it to the new location more often. I have not been a regular since the move.
Oct. 18th, 2011 12:36 pm (UTC)
Sad news. Sic transit gloria mundi...

May the next phase of your journey be a rewarding one!
Oct. 18th, 2011 03:30 pm (UTC)
Greg, it's sad to see the closure of the physical store. Will we still see you in convention dealer rooms?

Hopefully you will have a special opening during Gaylaxicon next October. Several of our out-of-town attendees still rave about how much they loved your store when they were here in 2009.
Oct. 18th, 2011 05:44 pm (UTC)
That's the beauty of of cunning plan - I'll still be able to do conventions and I should also have some special events or sales at the store. I'm not moving any stock out of the building and I'll leave it set up pretty much as it's always been (a little more warehousy I suppose) so I could conceivably open during Gaylaxicon.

Oct. 19th, 2011 04:35 am (UTC)
That's terrible, but I can't fault your reasons. I spent a lot of time in 6 of your locations and have a bunch of great memories. Definitely have to stop in before you close your doors.

And much luck with the next phase of Dreamhaven books!
Rick Lieder
Oct. 26th, 2011 07:42 pm (UTC)
Sorry to hear this. Good luck with the next phase, Greg.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )