On their Live Journal yesterday, Dreamhaven Books and Comics announced they were closing their physical store, but continuing to do business by mail order. Here’s what owner Greg Ketter had to say:

Yes, it’s true. DreamHaven is closing as a physical bookstore. At the end of January, 2012 I’ll no longer have regular hours and will concentrate on the mail order business and conventions. I’m not planning to move so it’s conceivable that I’ll open the doors once in a while and have a sale or even host some sort of event. But I won’t maintain any regular hours.

Things were going quite well until the end of 2010. From January 2011 to mid April, nearly 50% of the walk-in business just disappeared. While business has picked up slightly since then, it’s still way off. I blame A) The Economy B) Changing Dynamics of Retail (online shopping) C) E-Books. Each one of these could make quite a difference on their own but all together they spell disaster for many retailers. I’ve been hedging my bets for some time and I’ve been buying good used and rare books and collectibles and I’m doing well with them. Ironically, the store is better stocked than ever and I’m more pleased with the overall store “experience” than I’ve ever been. I will boast of one of the greatest selections of used and rare SF/Fantasy/Horror anywhere, also possibly the largest selection of rare and unusual SF and Horror Film books in existence. While my collectible comics selection is weak (but after this past week it’s very much stronger) I have more comics-related material (fanzines, graphic novels, art books, posters, prints, etc) than anyone in this area. So, all-in-all, the store looks great. Too bad so few people come in to enjoy it.

Sadly, some of those who do come in to enjoy it, abuse it terribly. Theft is up so far it’s almost off the charts. Again, I blame the economy for the rise, but it doesn’t really explain the fact that people seem to not care who gets hurt as long as they get the things they want. I lose in the neighborhood of 5 – 20 THOUSAND dollars a year to theft and have for the last three decades.

I’m very excited about this next phase in my bookselling career. I started selling books 40 years ago and opened my store 35 years ago. I’m too young to retire; even if I had the means to do so, I don’t think I could. But I can slow down and maybe take more time to enjoy myself. And that’s what I plan to do.

Thanks everybody. I hope everyone can stop in between now and the end of january 2012, if for no other reason that to help me clear out some of the amazing (amounts of junk) stuff I have to offer.

Greg

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