Sanders turns the page, scouts for new home for his bookstore
Online sales have sliced margins on the book business ever thinner, Sanders said, particularly the vast Web retailer he refers to disdainfully as "Damn-azon." But the Internet, he said, also has fostered and widened allegiance to his shop.
Sanders said low rents charged for his current locale and its easy access to off-street parking have helped the shop survive. He doubts he’ll find a deal as sweet. He said he needs 4,000 to 6,000 square feet to hold an inventory of more than 100,000 books, along with maps, photos, posters, postcards and other collectibles.
"We’re not mall people," Sanders said, referring to Weller Book Works’ move from Main Street to Trolley Square, "even if we could afford it."
A smaller footprint, he said, may mean giving up a browsing section for the store’s legendary paperback stocks or scaling back on regular author appearances, poetry readings, art exhibits and other gatherings. Seeking out a comparable or bigger space, though, may pull him away from downtown to find less expensive rents.
"After a certain point," Sanders said, "you can’t pretend you’re downtown anymore."