Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Goodbye, Pages for All Ages

A bookstore's closing is reason for a special sort of sadness, as it's nearly certain that no other bookstore will be coming along to take its place. My family began buying books at Pages for All Ages in 1988, the year the store opened. Pages was for many years the bookstore in our corner of the world. My children spent hours in the children's section, which featured a nifty nook for reading and play. The kid-sized stools had legs that looked like giant pencils.

Along came Borders. Along came Barnes & Noble. (Or vice versa.) Pages moved to a new location and added CDs and coffee. And DVDs. The owner of a recently closed record store came on as the music manager, and the CD selections became a marvel of discernment. (Thank you, Morgan Usadel, for bringing so many good jazz recordings to central Illinois.)

In recent years (post-Amazon), the inventory — of all sorts — began to dwindle. Books that you'd think would be there weren't there. The CD shelves grew emptier, then empty. I'd go in and end up buying something, anything, to do my bit. I noticed last year that the store was not stocking 2009 planners — that seemed like a bad sign.

On my last visit to Pages, in late December, I was looking for a copy of Charles Dickens's Bleak House. No soap. When my daughter and I drove to Pages last week, the store was dark, and a sign on the front door announced a closing for inventory. That closing is now permanent, as the evening news just announced.

Goodbye, Pages.

Pages for All Ages a victim of recession (The News-Gazette)

comments: 4

Slywy said...

That's really sad, as it was probably the family bookstore for many.

I'm blessed by having two huge used bookstores and the Seminary Co-op bookstores within bus/biking/walking distance (depending on weather). I go to Borders mainly for the Piccadilly and Paperchase stuff. When it opened, one UofC student from suburbia was quoted as saying something like Borders was more like "home" to her in our strange urban world. If you are going to choose to attend an urban college, why not enjoy the richness of the urban setting? I'm no city girl, but I recognize the wonder of these one-of-a-kind stores.

Michael Leddy said...

Students also often prefer chain restaurants to local treasures.

If the Seminary Co-op ever goes, that's The End.

Elaine Fine said...

This is so very sad.

Rob said...

Honestly, I'm amazed they stayed open this long. When BN and Borders both opened on the north side of town, I knew Pages' days were numbered. So sad, but I'm glad they were able to hold out for so long. They will be missed.