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Story ends for local used bookshop

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December 01, 2012 - 3:38 PM

A local bookshop will turn it's last page Saturday, ending a story 13 years in the making.

At Second Glance Books on Victoria Street closes it's doors Dec. 1.

"I built it book by book," said owner Pat DiFrancesco.

She's in high demand at the shop as the last books fly off the shelves, customer's calling for her by name and asking for recommendations.

"It's amazing how much information our brains hold - more than our computers hold," she said.

She attributed a 30 per cent decline in sales in the last year to new technology, noting that even the Christmas season, typically the busiest for the store, saw major declines.

"Over the last couple of years I've really noticed a change," DiFrancesco said.

"If you want information about something or you want to know something you just Google it. Everything is so instant and accessible."

While information is easier to find, she said there are disadvantages to new technologies.

"You have to know where to find the information," she said.

While it saddens her to close the doors of the store she loves, she is optimistic.

"We are growing and evolving, it's the way things work," she said. "It's part of an evolutionary change."

Though her outlook remains positive, she will miss the environment.

"I've had the same customers for 13 years. A six or seven-year-old would now be 20. Everywhere I go, people know about the store," she said.

Her passion for books has brought her into contact with a lot of interesting people.

"The frame of mind when (customers) are coming in is different than any other retail business," she said. "I'm not asking, 'Would you like fries with that?'"

She also said she would miss her 'work husband', Mike Grant, who has worked with her for 12 of the 13 years her store has been in operation.

"The used book customer is a weird breed," Grant chuckled, admitting he would miss DiFrancesco's humour and company.

Grant said he will take some time to write a followup to his fictional novel entitled White Wolf Moon.

He is one of about seven employees making future plans after be laid off with the store's closing.

Nineteen-year-old Athena Gradwell has worked there for three years.

"I would do this forever if it were possible," she said.

Gradwell said the closure will be felt in Kamloops.

"This bookstore brings a really cool culture to the community," she said.

DiFrancesco doesn't know what she will do next, and she's OK with it.

"First I'm going to breathe," she said adding with a chuckle that she will probably cry the first few days after the closing. "I need to process everything and figure everything out."

Like her favourite books growing up, Nancy Drew mysteries, she doesn't know where her story will take her, but she looks forward to what's next.

"I have to leave myself open to the limitless possibilities."

— Jessica Wallace

News from © iNFOnews, 2012

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