As you have probably heard, we will be closing our doors at the end of June. We are so grateful to the loyal customers who kept us going while all the other local book stores closed. Thanks to you, we have been able to have the incredible experience of owning Black Bear Books for almost five years. We have been able to employ many delightful college students who have enriched our lives and the lives of our customers. We have been able to provide the town with a great independent book store for five years longer than they would have had it, which we have considered a a great priviledge. So we thank you, for all you have given us and the town.
Almost every customer asks us why we are closing. There are several factors that created a perfect storm. They are these:
(1) A horrible economy, which still shows no sign of improving.
(2) The nature of a resort area, which means a looooooong winter of trying to keep the store open while there are very few customers. That's hard enough in a good economy. Every winter we have put our own money into the store to keep it going until the summer people and tourists returned. We finally ran out of our own money, and this winter was brutal.
(3) An embezzlement that cost us tens of thoursands of dollars. Initially, we could not understand how the store had made enough money for someone to steal so much. Then we got the phone call from the IRS and learned that, while he had been telling us that the taxes were paid, our former manager had not paid NC state taxes in over a year. We were left with a tax debt that was over $35,000 and our payment plan amounted to us having to pay double taxes every month. That was the nail in our coffin. (Our family now inherits the tax debt, while the criminal was given probation and is paying us back a very small fraction of what he stole, at the rate of $100 a month.)
So, that's the story of the end of Black Bear Books. However, we are striving to be the best we can be for our final month. We can't stock much, but we are stocking some great summer reading and we have recommendations for you.
HOT SUMMER HARDBACKS
We are always hesitant to say "Great Beach Reading" because no everyone has the same taste in beach reading. So we'll say "Big Fun Books." Into that category goes:
- Doctor Sleep by Stephen King. This sequel to The Shining does will not disappoint King fans, especially those who are more interested in his early work. The adult Danny is a complex and very likable fellow, and the plot, while different enough to be fresh, is very in keeping with The Shining's original themes. Good guys and bad guys, and really good writing.
- Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King. This book is just out, so I haven't had time to read it, but it has gotten very good reviews. It's a crime novel and long enough to last your entire week at the beach. And like I said, Stephen King is at the top of his game right now.
- Written in My Own Heart's Blood by Diana Gabaldon. The latest installment of the Outlander series. A gorgeous book, with the geneology of the families (which, by now, you need!) in the inside covers.
- Natchez Burning by Greg Iles. First installment of a trilogy, a sweeping epic set in Natchez, Mississippi. For people like me, who want their "big summer beach book" to actually be BIG.
- The Goldfinch by Donna Tarrt. Pulitzer Prize winner.
There are so many great paperbacks this summer, your summer won't last long enough for you to read them. Here are the ones we are stocking:
- The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
- ALL the John Green books
- The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison
- The Secret History by Donna Tarrt
- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
- Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
- A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
- The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
PAPERBACKS FOR MEN (And Women Who Like Macho Non-fiction)
- Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
- A Higher Call by Adam Makos and Larry Alexander
- Frozen in Time by Mitchell Zuckoff
FOR WOMEN AND BOOK CLUBS
- The Outlander by Gillian Adams
- The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan
- Re-constructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
- Percy Jackson
- The False King trilogy
Our last day will be June 29th. You will be able to order anything you want up until closing on June 24th.
Once again, thank you for four-and-a-half great years.