A bookshop that was originally founded and opened by the original Winnie the Pooh’s Christopher Robin will close according to a report by the BBC.
In Dartmouth, England, the Harbour Bookshop was opened in 1951 by Christopher Robin Milne, the son of Pooh author A.A. Milne. The bookshop was a destination for Pooh fans, however Christopher Robin often hid from visitors. He died in 1996, and the current owners say that there is now quite a slump in sales and a rise in rent has led them to close.
This sad story is being repeated in bookshops all over Europe and North America. As sales move online, bookstores are having a tougher time dealing with the economic crisis than most businesses. Many towns are being left without an independent bookshop, as indeed Dartmouth will be when The Harbour Bookshop finally shuts its doors. Some towns do not have any bookstores left what so ever. Earlier in the year, Laredo, Texas, with a population of a quarter of a million, watched its last bookstore shut its doors for the last time.
That is a real shame. Bookstores add to the cultural value of their neighborhood and may even be tourist attractions. David Farley has written about why bookstore tourism is so important. Books make wonderful gifts and souvenirs. Looking through my own shelves I often recall the trips where I bought certain titles.
So the next time that you hit the road you should drop into the local bookshop. You will be doing good for the local economy and also you will bring home a wonderful memento of your trip.