Story ends for Page 233 Bookstore

By Joel Charron

Page 233 Bookstore may have written its final chapter.

According to Page 233 owner John Schlarbaum, the town’s only independent bookstore may have to close its doors at the end of the month.

Schlarbaum said there were several factors contributing to Page 233’s closing, noting that the rise of e-books and competition from large book chains like Chapters, Indigo and even Wal-Mart.

“It’s a combination of a lot of thing,” explained Schlarbaum. “People buy books online in town. You have a couple of stores that give big discounts on all books all the time. For a guy like me, I really can’t compete with that.”

But Schlarbaum refuses to use those factors as an excuse as to why the door may be closing.


If a new owner doesn’t stpe in to keep Page 233 Bookstore open, the final chapter could have already been written for Amherstburg’s only bookstore.

“I’m not the only place that this is happening to. There are a few places that are going out of business,” he said. “For what ever reason I wasn’t able to connect with the larger book loving population in Amherstburg and have them realize that Page 233 was right downtown.”

However there is still hope that Amherstburg only bookstore in over a decade can remain open.

“My hope is that someone can still come in and buy the store with new blood and reinvent it as a bookstore slash something else,” said Schlarbaum.

The local author said he has already fielded a few calls that may be interested in purchasing Page 233.

Schlarbaum said he would miss Page 233 but there comes a time where you must move on.

“I’ve enjoyed it here,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed meeting people, I liked getting the books that my customers wanted and it gave me an opportunity to promote my own work.”

He also mentioned that he hopes someone does take an interest in the bookstore because he feesl that every small town needs a bookstore.

With Page 233 coming off his plate, Schlarbaum said it will free up time to focus on what is shaping up to be a very busy 2012.

Schlarbaum said he would be starting the third installment in the Steve Cassidy series along with writing a murder-mystery walking tour that will be set in 1812 for next September.

“It will be part of the Bi-Centennial celebrations,” he said.

Schlarbaum will also be converting his short story “Aging Gracefully Together” into a stage play.

He also intends to help a fellow author get published through his publishing company Scanner Publishing.

“  I am not closing the book on anything,” he said. “I’m am just merely finishing a chapter in my life.”


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