Connecticut bookstore in search of a new home
by Nick Davies
Monroe Patch reported this weekend that Written Words Bookstore in Shelton, CT, is looking for a new location as the lease for their current spot comes to an end. They’ve been located in a shopping center on Leavenworth Road for five years now, and while the store’s landlord has given them an extension, the hunt for a suitable new place has proved more trying than expected.
Dorothy Sim-Broder, who co-owns Written Words with her husband David, says that the holiday rush made it impossible for them to focus on relocating: “When the holiday craziness started here at the store, we had to temporarily suspend our search because we found we could not concentrate on both … During our initial search we did find quite a few available spaces but none that are truly ideal at this point. It became a much larger project than we had anticipated.”
In addition to not finding a new place, Sim-Broder explains that the Indiegogo campaign she launched to raise money for the move in the fall didn’t meet its goal, and that sales over the holiday season were lower than usual this year. Still, the store’s patrons have expressed a lot of support; Sim-Broder says, “Every day people come in the door and they’re so worried. Apparently many people have even approached the landlord. It’s really heartwarming to see the hometown support.”
Linda Devlin, the owner of a children’s bookstore in the neighboring town of Monroe, explains that it’s a tough area for independent bookstores: “We’re fighting against the chains. I think it’s tougher in general for a bookstore because people are going to maybe think of the chain first. I feel for them in Shelton, it’s not easy.” But Sim-Broder is optimistic that “once we find a new place, a lot of people will show up and bring some muscle. It could be like a community thing.”
Nick Davies is a publicist at Melville House.