The final chapter has been written for a beloved downtown Winnipeg bookstore.
Aqua Books and its neighbouring business EAT! bistro will be closing their doors.
Owner Kelly Hughes broke the news in an e-mail Thursday morning to customers.
“Candace and I are, quite honestly, pretty devastated to announce that the doors of Aqua Books and EAT! bistro will be closing forever,” Hughes said. “We’ve had a great ride, but unfortunately the financial burden has become too much.”
“You came, and you made it what it is. And for my part, I’ve done whatever I had to do to keep the dream alive. And finally, under the weight of too many bills, we’ve come to the end of the road.”
Hughes says the book business has always been a tough one, and brought up the recent closure of half of McNally Robinson’s book stores due to the rise in e-books.
“Facebook, and the Internet are all part of what has replaced reading time. I won’t beat it to death, but it’s an irreversible change in people’s habits. You may still read and love books as much as you always have, but you are now in the minority. Book sales here have dropped 30% in the last year.”
Hughes encouraged customers to continue supporting local businesses still trudging away, such as Pollock’s Hardware Co-op, Tallest Poppy and Neechi Foods Co-op.
As for previously scheduled events at Aqua Books, those are still a go, and regular hours will be in effect until further notice.
“We want to have more of a wake than a funeral,” Hughes added.