Monday, June 23, 2008

cody's is officially done for

Have you read the news about Cody's Books? They're all gone now, a rep quoted as saying, "No one reads anymore." Youch, so much for my line of work.

We'd seen it coming. It was obvious from the moment the store was sold, really. The shop had been something off a mess since Pat Cody sold it off a few years back when we all stood as if at a eulogy and the Telegraph store, the only full local bookstore where I was able to find any literary journal I wanted, closed first. Then San Francisco.

Somehow, even as I watched inventory dwindle down to the remaindered, the blockbuster, and the preposterous ones that somehow made it through, I had confidence that the Fourth Street shop would survive; it's such a spendy little strip, fine foot traffic. But rent on spendy little strips where the likes of Z Gallerie and Restoration Hardware move in apparently gets prohibitive. And when that spot's rent tripled on Fourth Street, that branch closed too. I worked right there and went to Cody's nearly every day and it was like watching an elderly relative fade and go pale.

But then came Shattuck. They moved, and so did I. My offices were right around the corner from the new branch. I can't even say how long they were there. It's one of the things I've always liked about local bookshops: time evaporates in them in the very best of ways. But this one, it seems, evaporated before it had even really opened.

Oy. I'm going back to bed with a book, one I bought from Cody's.