Chester County Book and Music to Close

The independent bookseller located in the Goshen Shopping Center was a staple for local readers.

Online vendors and e-books have spelled the end for —or perhaps the beginning of a new, more modest chapter.

According to a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer, the massive independent bookstore, located on Paoli Pike in West Goshen, will close its doors at an uncertain date in the near future. The owner is considering options, such as keeping a smaller version of the store open.

The bookstore was founded in 1982 by Kathy and Bob Simoneaux, and it expanded over the years to include hundreds of thousands of titles and a restaurant. But the likes of Amazon and Kindle cut too deeply into its business:

But now, Simoneaux faces what is almost inevitable for independent booksellers under pressure from e-readers and online sales. Chester County Book & Music, one of the largest independent booksellers in the region, is closing.

Exactly when is unclear. After Simoneaux told the shopping center management she couldn't afford to stay after her lease expired last January, they offered reduced month-to-month rent while they negotiated with a fitness center to take over the space.

The store was a mecca for literature lovers throughout the region, including an professor quoted in the Inquirer article. 

If it's any consolation to its devoted fans, at least the store outlasted Borders, a one-time competitor that closed in 2011.

Roger M August 10, 2012 at 04:10 PM
a fitness center, huh? i'd rather read a book... this is my favorite local store... it's a shame that this happened, but it was inevitable, i suppose... i remember when it was almost twice as big as it is now -- they had a CD and book selection that put other stores to shame... of course, they had to shrink their footprint and inventory to stay afloat, which (of course) meant that their selection suffered mightily, which (of course) meant that folks went to Amazon etc... a vicious cycle... they've always been different than the chain stores because their employees are mostly long term and have a genuine interest in and knowledge of their products.. i still go there frequently to see if they have a book or CD i'm looking for before ordering on Amazon...
Ptbat September 14, 2012 at 08:52 PM


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