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Over on Metblogs, there's a long, thoughtful post about the demise of Cook's Library, the all-cookbook store on Third Street that just closed its doors for good. Cook's Library was a beloved resource for chefs, but its prices could never compete with Amazon. Blogger Queeqeg recognizes that he's partially guilty here:
During my farewell visit, I overheard the staff attribute the closing to the fact that they could no longer compete with the big chains or with customers (like me) who browsed their store but bought online — similar to how I eat all the free cheese samples at Whole Foods but buy the same wedge, cheaper, at Bay Cities.Which gets at the problem faced by all independent bookstores: Much as book lovers might enjoy browsing in a cozy shop, when it comes to buy, they'll still turn to Amazon, even if they feel really bad about it. Queeqeg dismisses the argument that community involvement can save bookstores, noting that Cook's Library "hosted all sorts of book signings, was loved by the foodie community, and was a regular participant at community events like Planned Parenthood's annual Food Fare." He (she?) thinks that bookstores simply must drop their prices to survive. But with cheaper books, would they be able to cover the costs of business? And if that's not the solution, what is?
· Cook’s Library’s Last Meal [Metblogs]
· The Cook's Library [Official Site]