Sandbar Books, Islamorada, Fla., to Close

Sandbar Books in Islamorada, Fla., will close permanently at the end of this month, the Keys Weekly reported.

"It has been a good run and I can't extend my appreciation enough to all of my great booksellers, local authors, and loyal patrons that have supported us from the beginning," owner Becky Washam wrote in a message to customers. "The Florida Keys are so full and enriched by our wonderful people and amazing history. Thank you for letting me and Sandbar Books add a small paragraph to that story."

Washam and her husband moved to the Florida Keys in November 2020. Earlier that year, Hooked on Books in Islamorada closed, leaving that part of the Keys without an independent bookstore. The closure "left a hole in our community," Washam told Shelf Awareness, and in 2022 she opened Sandbar Books to fill that void.

She attributed the closure to the economy and bad timing, telling the Keys Weekly: "I've talked to other shop owners, several of them, and everybody is hurting right now. Everything is so much more expensive, people just don't have as much disposable income and it affects us all. It's not just retail. It affects everybody here that depends on tourist dollars."

Washam began a full liquidation sale on May 4, with all merchandise 40%-60% off and all fixtures and furniture also available for purchase. And while her bookstore is closing, Washam is also the owner of a boutique called Islamorada Mercantile, which will remain open for business.

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