There’s always something sad about a bookstore closing. Even more so when it’s the last one in town — or, in this case, the last one in a whole county.
Over the weekend, Smyrna’s Acorn Books announced on Facebook that it will close its doors.
According to Delaware State News, Acorn Bookstore was the last bookstore in Kent County.
It joins institutions such as Wilmington’s 9th Street Book Shop and Newark’s Bookateria in bookstore heaven. Unlike those long-running shops, Acorn Books was only seven years old. After Atlantic Book Shop in Dover shut down in 2012 after 30 years, former employees, including owner Ginny Jewell, launched the independent new and used books shop. It was located in Dover for three years before moving to Smyrna four years ago.
“There’s a number of factors why we decided to close,” Jewell told Delaware State News. “Books have been declining for a while. We have a great group of people who routinely shop here, it’s just that it’s not a big enough market.
The rise of digital books — not to mention massive digital booksellers like Amazon and, to a lesser extent, Barnes & Noble — has decimated the brick-and-mortar book industry, for better or worse. Few in Delaware are still standing. New Castle County’s Hockessin Book Shelf, an independent new and used bookstore, is still kicking, as are Sussex County beach bookshops such as Rehoboth’s Browsabout Books and Bethany Beach Books.
And then of course, there are the massive Barnes & Noble bookstores at Christiana Mall and Concord Mall. B&N won the book wars against Borders in the early aughts by embracing digital books, but Delaware still has those two bright brick-and-mortars with comfortable seating and cafes. For now, anyway.