Clues Unlimited Considers Closing

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E-books and deep discounts at big-box stores may be sounding the death knell for yet another locally owned book stores.

Clues Unlimited, which has specialized in the sale of mystery books since it opened 14 years ago, may close at the end of the year, says owner Christine Burke.

“I feel like I’m fighting against the tide of history by trying to sell books,” said Burke. “Times have changed so much.”

Her competitors used to be stores like Barnes & Noble and Borders, but that has changed. Stores like Walmart and Costco now sell books at enormous discounts, and devices like the Kindle and the Nook have made it even more difficult for small-time booksellers like Burke to stay in business.

Burke said big-box stores sell books for as much as 40 percent less than she does. As for e-books, Burke said large book sellers like Amazon have cornered that market, and that few opportunities exist for independent bookstores.

She's considering converting her business into an online bookstore, but the idea is still in the planning stages.

For the time being, Burke said she’ll be sticking around at least until the end of the year. She has posted a notice on her website announcing the possible closure and seeking ideas on ways to keep the store open.

Call 326-8533 with any ideas or suggestions.

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