It was sad to read, in last Friday’s Gazette, about the planned closing in March of Janesville’s Book World.

Rene Purnell owned the store, which had a chain name but was independent. She said online sellers made it tough to keep the door open in recent years. Supply-chain issues caused by the pandemic added more problems.

Because Purnell plans to discount her remaining stock and can’t sell books from local authors at discounts, she’s asking local authors to pick up unsold books. On Friday I collected my leftover copies of "Death Beyond the Willows" and "Memories of Marshall."

To illustrate her point, my records show her store sold 167 copies of "Death Beyond the Willows,” most soon after its debut in 2005. Those included an initial signing and a second with a revised edition in 2013. "Memories of Marshall," debuted last fall, and the pandemic prevented a signing at Book World, which sold just 19 copies.

I appreciate Purnell working with local authors. I checked the city’s other main book store, in the mall. It stocked a few books from local authors, but I didn’t notice signed copies.

It's disappointing to see another local business closing. It’s a reminder, especially during the holidays, that local shops employ local people and face increasing pressure from online retailers. Consider shopping local, whether it be stores such as Raven’s Wish Gallery or The Sugar Exchange or giving certificates to local restaurants such as Luke’s Deli, the Eagle Inn or the Cozy Inn.




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