West Roxbury's used-book store shutting down

Tom Nealon reports he's shutting Pazzo Books on Centre Street in late March:

While the rare books side of the business has thrived (and will continue online, at fairs, and by appointment), the rest of the business has continued to be challenging. When it came time to renew my lease, I just couldn’t pull the trigger and after much deliberation, decided that shuttering the shop was the best thing to do. ...

[L]ately it has been harder to source the sort of good stock that used to wander in the door, I had a second kid this year, and e-books have hurt some of the high turnover sections like mysteries. I also wanted to get out before I got weird or bitter – I’ve seen a lot of people get really angry and depressed about being forced to close their shop, and I wanted to do it while business, overall, was good, and I could do it on my terms.

Pazzo opened in Roslindale in 2003; moved to West Roxbury five years later.

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Comments

I'll miss Pazzo.

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Tom is the best. Very sad that he's closing the store. Its heyday was when he and Brian were both running it in Rozzie square with the fishtanks and skeeball, but the West Roxbury location is lovely too. He was talking about having a big sale starting soon (beginning of February maybe?) and unloading all of his fabulous maps and illustrations. I already have a half-dozen pieces of art around the house that came from Pazzo and would be eager to find some more.

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Seek has used books

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But it's really more of a sci-fi/comic book kind of place, at least the last time I was in there, whereas Pazzo was that vanishing breed where they stocked a little of everything.

Bummer

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That's a real bummer. A neighborhood bookstore is high on my most wanted list. I wish I could have given them more business, but the hours were just impossible.

His hours are AWESOME and I wish to emulate them.

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Could I please get some angel capital to try to take over this operation? I intend to keep roughly the same hours.

Sunday: PARTYIN' DOWN!
Monday: PARTYIN' DOWN!
Tuesday: PARTYIN' DOWN!
Wednesday: PARTYIN' DOWN!
Thursday, Friday, Saturday: Recovering from hangover by hangin' out in my bookshop, readin' things of interest to me. Also, planning the upcoming four days of PARTYIN' DOWN!

Seriously though, their closing is too bad and Pazzo will be missed on Centre St.

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Vacuum up theory of commerce

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In honor of the trickle down theory of Reagomics I offer the Amazon-Walmart vacuum up theory of the internet. Offer the greatest expression of the lowest common denominator of commerce (lowest price) and ease of purchase and watch the value of local businesses be sucked into the mauls of commercial behemoths.

I wonder whether this store sold books via Abebooks or Alibris? Not that it would help a lot. I will guess that competing against bookstores that can sell at lower prices because their overhead is lower than a store in Boston doesn't put Boston used book businesses in a strong position. A used bookstore in a major metropolitan area may have a better to acquiring books in the first place. But when competition comes down to price and nothing else a $10 copy is almost always a better buy - when price is the only consideration - than a more expensive copy.

As an aside I wonder whether the Boston market provides a greater flow of books for reselling through used bookstores given the extraordinary size of academia in the Boston area.

I'm sorry this store is closing. I didn't even realize it existed and I have been shopping in used bookstores in Boston for 20 years. I was sorry that Boston Book Annex on the C line closed a few years ago. I just hope that Commonwealth Books and the Brattle Bookstore manage to stay open as well as Harvard Books and Calamus Books.

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He does sell on the internet

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He is just closing the physical store. For years now the actual store has been almost a community sevice rather than a remunerative enterprise. Nearly all of his money was made through Internet sales. He liked being in a book store and talking to the people who came through, some exceptions I'm sure.

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