Staff at Bryan Prince Bookseller have announced that the Hamilton, Ontario, store is slated to close on March 29, just weeks after the shop’s 29th anniversary.
“There are many unique factors that have led to this decision,” says co-owner Kerry Cranston-Reimer in a mass goodbye email. “This is not about the death of the physical book or independent bookselling. There will always be books printed and those who love to devour their pages.”
Bryan Prince had a number of new initiatives on the go, including a program it launched last spring that offered quiet workspaces to local writers, and a renovation that featured a community hub and events space, which the store celebrated with a reveal party on Feb. 25, 2017. Events in the new space included book launches, readings, book-club meetings, and a partnership with gritLIT festival. Bryan Prince was also offering use of the space to non-profits free of charge.
“We tried our best to adapt to the needs of the community and book lovers,” Cranston-Reimer tells Q&Q. “We had great plans for the bookstore and it’s a shame many will never be realized. In the end, there were just too many challenges in the way.”
Cranston-Reimer and her sister, Tracey Higgins, acquired the store in 2011 from its eponymous founder, Bryan Prince. The duo announced in August 2016 that Higgins was stepping down from her bookselling duties, though she remained a silent partner.
Cranston-Reimer states in the mass email that the decision to close the store was not “made lightly or in haste,” and that she delivers the news “with a heavy heart.” She continues on to thank the store’s patrons and community “who helped us achieve so much through the years. We greatly appreciate the effort people have made to support us because they believed in the value of the work we do.”