Nov 3 2010
11:52 pm

Carpe Librum owners announced today that they will not renew their lease in 2011. The wonderful store is closing after 6 years. Bummer. -- s.

John Norris Brown's picture

Hate to see that. It's a

Hate to see that. It's a great store.

Rachel's picture

Bummer indeed.

Bummer indeed.

bizgrrl's picture

Yes, when I read the store

Yes, when I read the store was closing I was saddened. I thought they had been open longer than 6 years. They made a great effort.

Pam Strickland's picture

It's more than a store; it's

It's more than a store; it's a great community for local authors and readers. Their support of the local literary scene is incredible. It's going to be a huge hit for the local and regional writers. Barnes and Noble and Borders just aren't keyed in to the local folks at all.

Example: Michael Knight had a reading of his most recent novel "The Typist" at Carpe Librum in August. There will folks spilling out onto the sidewalk to hear him, buy the book and get it signed. I was in Barnes and Noble last week (magazines, which CL doesn't have) and checked - they don't even have a copy of the novel. Yes, they have a paperback of one of Knight's earlier novels but nothing to indicate that he has a current novel that the publisher sent him on a book tour for.

And that's just one thing. Marilyn Kallet's poetry is no where to be seen at the chains. Nor is Jack Neely or Fred Brown or so many others.

Local people getting out the stories of East Tennessee. How is that going to happen without Carpe Librum? The chains won't step up. The used book stores put in a local new niche. Probably not.

This is devastating to the community in so many, many ways.

jbr's picture

Maybe a collaborative web of

Maybe a collaborative web of local coffee shops could provide a form of that resource.

Hildegard's picture

I'm sure they had considered

I'm sure they had considered it in the past, but I have to wonder if relocating downtown would help. There's a lot of downtown foot traffic during the day, people on their lunch hour etc., and I have to think they'd get good daytime business that way. In the evenings, there are people all over the place downtown, people who like music and books, I would think.

Bearden was a good location, but you only went there if you drove there. I could be wrong but I like to think urban, pedestrian traffic is good for small business. And the artsy, musical, intellectual crowd they always attracted hangs out downtown for the most part anyway.

Pam Strickland's picture

I have been thinking,

I have been thinking, fleetingly, since I heard yesterday that maybe now someone would try something downtown. If it were the CL folks that would be wonderful. Although I know that Flossie lives within walking distance of the CL Bearden location.

It seemed that the reason not to open a downtown bookstore before was that Carpe Librum had such a good thing going and that this town couldn't support two quality independent bookstores. I understand why they would have chosen Bearden six years ago, but I agree that downtown would be the place to get foot traffic now.

I don't know, but I'm in a fit about this.

michael kaplan's picture

These are the kinds of

These are the kinds of businesses that might have thrived in the Candy Factory or Victorian Houses. The beautifully refurbished Daylight Building (quickly filling up) might be another possibility.

Pam Strickland's picture

Michael Kaplan, sometimes you

Michael Kaplan, sometimes you need to cut your losses and move on. You are so far past that time that I don't know what to say. Just drop it. Now.

Pam Strickland's picture

Happy/Sad Christmas Shopping

I've been in Carpe Librum twice this week. Bought presents for three adults and five kids as well as one book for myself. Saw lots of friends both times I was there.

The saddest thing for me was Thursday when I realized that next year I can't walk in there and say, "I'm looking for something for a dentist in his early 30s who reads nonfiction self-improvement that's not really self-improvement. He likes to fish a lot and play a little golf, but it doesn't have to be about either of those things." And 20 minutes later I have two books -- neither of which I would have ever considered, but are perfect.

Also, I was able to walk in and hand pick between the three early Cormac McCarthy books my nephew had on his wish list because they have a full selection of Cormac's work. The big box stores don't have anything but the recent stuff and the westerns.

The final day is New Years' Eve.

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