Last chapter for Saanich bookshop

A little book-store that has operated in Cadboro Bay Village for three decades is closing its doors.

Patricia Jutras, owner of Cadboro Bay Book Company, said Friday the plan is to close Jan. 27, though she is hopeful for an 11th-hour offer to buy the shop.

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“The book world is changing and it’s hard to see what the business is going to be like,” said Jutras, who bought the business in 2010 and is the fifth owner. “People are buying books online. They’re buying e-books and using e-readers. There are bubble stores, like Costco, selling books now, or people are buying them used. It’s just a real tough market for a small independent.”

She also cited free or inexpensive shipping from online retail giants like Amazon as a major reason for customers shifting to online purchases.

Jutras said she’s had five offers for the business since listing last year. “A lot of people want to move to Victoria and open a romantic little book shop, but the fact is, the bottom line wasn’t attractive enough,” she said.

Jutras said she is meeting with a potential buyer today, and holds hope the shop can remain open in the quaint retail village a short walk from the beach.

Jutras, 62, came out of an eight-year retirement to take over the shop. She had a long run in retail as the owner of Pacific Trekking for 23 years, but found the book business quite a different retail animal.

“People come to a book store and feel quite comfortable to just look,” she said. “It’s a place to go.”

But she said the business is swiftly changing.

Book publishers have hit rough financial waters and are not promoting authors as much with event signings. Cadboro Bay used to be a regular stop for touring authors — over the years attracting some of the best, including Margaret Atwood and Michael Ondaatje.

The shop was originally opened by Moira Anderson.

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