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Video: An independent bookstore’s last story March 25, 2010

Posted by Amy in Stories, The Herald, Video.

Mary Burns is calling it quits after eleven years. That’s how long she’s owned The Bookworks, a small bookstore in the heart of Marysville.

I spent a few mornings with Mary last week, and she told me it’s the big guys — the Amazons and the Barnes & Nobles — that make things hard for small stores like The Bookworks. But it’s the recession that makes things impossible.

Here’s footage of Mary telling her last story at The Bookworks.

After eleven years, Mary is ready to let go.

“My customers are so sad, and I feel so bad,” she told me one morning. “I’m ready to go, and they’re not ready to let me go.”

For more about why she’s ready to move on, read the full story. It starts like this:

MARYSVILLE — The music drifts out of Mary Burns’ storefront and down Third Street, eventually losing its way amid rumbling engines.

Ding, ding, ding ding. The silvery chimes sound like a line from a storybook, enchanted music that casts a spell over Burns’ customers and draws them through the open door of her bookstore.

The song is ending. The music box won’t be a heard on Third Street much longer; Burns is closing The Bookworks, which she’s owned for 11 years.

She’s selling the books, the shelves — even the music box that has long been a fixture in her front window.

Like many other independent bookstore owners, Burns was driven to extinction by a perfect storm of variables, the most damning of which come as no surprise: online book retailers and the harshest recession in recent history. Read more here.



1. Jessica - March 25, 2010

This is so sad, great story though. I got a little misty at the end of the video when the customer grabs Mary’s hand 😦

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