Owner Christine Godshall said the influx of e-readers and the below-market prices for regular books on Amazon is the reason the shop just couldn’t compete any longer.
“It’s because of Amazon mainly,” she said. “They operate unethically in my opinion.” She cited an Amazon price comparison app, which came out around the holidays, as one of the reasons she finds their business practices unfair. Plus, she noted, the site often sells books below cost just to get people to the site to buy other, more expensive items.
At this point, she said, she just can’t keep up with Amazon’s rock-bottom prices.
"The winds of change are sweeping through retail book selling with hurricane force, and I've decided it's time for me to close the bookshop," Godshall wrote in a letter to customers. The letter is posted on the front door and by the register.
Godshall said she decided about a week ago to close. She doesn’t know the exact date the store will shut its doors for good. “We’ll definitely be here three or four more weeks,” she said.
Until then, all inventory is 20 percent off. All sales are final. Customers are encouraged to use their gift certificates and store credits as soon as possible.
Godshall said the decision to close was a tough one to make. “It’s been great. Even though we’ve struggled financially, I have enjoyed it.”
The Newtown Bookshop has been home to several book clubs. “All of that is going to end. There’s nothing we can do.”
Godshall said she hopes other independent bookstores continue to thrive. "Having seen firsthand how independent booksellers nurture the fragile art of book selling so it isn't crushed by the relentless force of the bottom line, I fervently hope that other bookshops thrive for many years to come."
She thanked her customers for their support over the years. "It was a true pleasure to serve this community and I will miss being part of Newtown in this special, literary way."