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Death of another Seattle bookstore is not a mystery

KUOW Photo/Casey Martin
Owner JB Dickey says owning a book store is a 'very honorable way of making a living.'

Another independent brick-and-mortar bookshop is closing its doors: This week is Seattle Mystery Bookshop’s last after selling mysteries in Pioneer Square for almost 30 years.

The shop is closing for reasons you might imagine.

“E-books, and higher prices of books, and deep discounting by the corporate stores, to the economy collapsing in 2008, and the city just making life impossible in Pioneer Square,” owner JB Dickey said. “It’s an awful lot of stuff and it’s just more than we could deal with.”

Dickey said book-loving Seattle is losing a shop that general bookstores just can't emulate.

“The city certainly does not have the wide variety and great number of independent bookstores that they had before Barnes & Noble, and certainly before Amazon started,” he said.

He's not bitter, however, and he is grateful for his loyal customers. For somebody hoping to one day open their own bookstore, Dickey had this advice: “Give it all your heart and all your sweat. And just be sure you’re educating your customers about what’s at stake. That’s something we tried to for years and I don’t know how successful we were. But I wouldn’t dissuade anyone else from trying. It’s a very honorable way of making of living.”

Everything in the store is on sale this week, including the shop itself.

The Seattle Mystery Bookshop's last day is this Saturday, September 30.

Year started with KUOW: 2015