The Toronto Women's Bookstore is closing, effective November 30. It is yet another in a long and lamentable line of independent book and magazine outlets closing, but in some ways its demise has more impact just because of the specialized nature of its stock -- including magazines -- and its community importance. A story by Susan G. Cole in NOW magazine quotes Victoria Moreno, who's been operating the store for the past two and a half years:
"You can't ignore the numbers. I have to get out before I get any further into debt." Bookstores are an endangered species, she says. "From the author to the retail scene, everything is changing. Now that you can download e-books or get books direct from the publishers' sites, the role of the bookstore is diminishing."Anjula Gogia, co-manager from 1996 to 2006 says that for left-leaning readers, queers, anti-violence feminists and feminists of colour, it's a major loss. From their peak in the early '80s when there were more than 130 women's bookstores in North America; there are fewer than 10 now. The story noted that Ottawa's Mother Tongue also recently closed.
"It's especially hard for independent bookstores," Gogia says. "Chapters and Indigo came on like a bulldozer, and once e-books come into the picture, an indie store can't last without a bread-and-butter base."