The news is now public that Washington, DC’s iconic Politics and Prose bookstore is up for sale. (At least one trade-related group has been in informal discussions with owners Carla Cohen and Barbara Meade recently.)
Meade tells the Washington Post, “It’s time for us to stop and let somebody else take over for the future” as Cohen adds, “I just don’t have the energy like I used to.” Sadly, as the story quietly underscores, “Cohen is also seriously ill.”
The store’s financials are said to be solid, though for some odd reason the newspaper chooses to cite recent sales number of $3.3 million in hardcovers instead of overall sales for the store. Meade says “there are no financial problems here. We make a good profit.” She adds, “We’re not just looking for a buyer. It’s about someone to continue our legacy.” The store also has approximately 60 employees to look out for.
Previous attempts at a planned succession went awry, “including an aborted effort to give local businessman Danny Gainsburg a quiet tryout as their successor.”
In other recent store news, as noted briefly yesterday, California’s Bay-area Lafayette Book Store is closing their physical location on July 29. The write on their site: “We will remain in business and continue to serve our literary community here, but without the beloved gathering place we’ve shared over the years. Dave along with Linda will continue to provide overnight special orders, Book Culture discounts and events, book talks to book clubs, used book parking lot sales, and weekly staff picks presentations starting August 1.”