A liquidation sale was held Friday at the now-closed Village Book Store in Littleton, N.H., the Manchester Union Leader reported, adding that "although there were bargains galore in the rapidly dwindling bookshelf stock--the shelves eventually went, too--few seemed really happy to be there on the store's final weekend. The mood was much more wake than party, with little excitement expressed at the discounted finds. There were not many smiles and the familiar friendly banter was missing.... The book store's employees had been replaced by auction house staff members who handled the liquidation sale."
On the shop's now dormant website, owner Jeff Wheeler posted a brief message: "The Village Bookstore is Now Closed. Thank you to all our customers who have supported the Bookstore over the years." The bookshop opened in 1974.
Citing the usual culprits of online competition and the 2008 economic downturn, the Union Leader also noted that Littleton had "embarked on a major public works project that tore up Main Street's sidewalks, creating piles of excavation debris that blocked access to businesses. It also eliminated Main Street parking on both sides for a long time, further interrupting local commerce."
Other indie booksellers in the region spoke with the Caledonian Record about Village Bookstore as well as the changing landscape of the book trade.
"As a book lover, book buyer and book seller, it's a sad day for Littleton, especially for downtown," said Mike Dickerman, owner of Bondcliff Books, Littleton. "Village Book Store was a destination store and the anchor of Main Street shopping for many years. In my opinion, it was one of the best bookstores in the state."
Linda Ramsdell, owner of Galaxy Bookshop, Hardwick, Vt., said Village Bookstore's closing leaves "a big hole," and observed that the changing industry now "requires constant learning, adjustment and re-imagining. It's definitely a challenge, but a good challenge as long as there are people in the area appreciating what we do."
Scott Beck, co-owner of Boxcar & Caboose Bookshop and Cafe, St. Johnsbury, Vt., expressed sadness "that a bookstore that has meant so much to the Littleton area will be closing, and wish Jeff and his staff the best in their future pursuits." He added: "You have to constantly be re-inventing yourself and changing what you're doing to move with the consumers. The successful operation of any business in the 21st is very challenging."