Black Bear Books to close
by Allison Haver
Owners Karen Hall and Chris Walker bought the store in November 2009.
A gem enthusiast, Hall learned from Doc's Rocks Gem Mine that Black Bear Books was for sale, and she and Walker jumped between the stacks with both feet, although their primary experience in the business was a joint love of literature.
In May 2011, Hall and Walker moved the bookstore to its current location in the Boone Mall.
According to Hall, the bookstore will most likely close the last week of June, but no specific date has been set.
"My only goal was to keep the doors open," Hall said. "We were living here full time and I wanted to live in a town with a bookstore, I think its important for a community to have a bookstore."
Hall said that people from the region shopped at Black Bear Books.
"I know of people from adjacent counties who came to buy books from here because there is not a independent bookstore near them," she said.
"We have been explaining this for five years, every time a local customer says, 'I'll just get it on Amazon,' even when we could have gotten the book to them in the same amount of time, without shipping costs that eventually that will be your only option," Hall said. "And now, it will be."
Books that the store will not be able to sell between now and when it closes will be donated to the Watauga County Public Library.
"The books will be donated to the library so they can either shelve them or use them in their annual sale," Hall said.
The bookstore will soon order books for June, its last month of business for customers. "We haven't been ordering books because we knew we were closing," Hall said. "We will start ordering books, including children's books and classics for June soon."
Hall said she hopes that another bookstore will open in Boone again someday.
"We have a lot of really loyal customers who we are extremely grateful for," Hall said. "Maybe if I win the lottery, one day I will open up another bookstore," she said.