Bookstore will move from Black Diamond

Todd Hulbert found out a year ago that opening a bookstore wasn’t easy but he discovered keeping it open is harder.

Hulbert, owner of Finally Found Books in Black Diamond, announced June 17 the store will relocate to Auburn. Hulbert took over after Bob Charles decided to retire from bookstore ownership. Charles operated Baker Street Bookstore in the same location for 17 years.

The deal to buy the store from Charles came together just days before the doors were to shut for the last time.

In a release sent out June 17, Hulbert said he posed a two-pronged question to newsletter subscribers in May: Should Finally Found Books move or close and is there still a need for locally owned, independent bookstores?

Hulbert pointed out the closure of several Puget Sound area independent bookstores in recent months as discouraging, yet, the response from fans of his store was positive.

“Thanks to the outcry and support of our patrons, we still believe that independent bookstores are necessary and that a few will survive,” Hulbert said in a statement. “Although we are saddened to leave our historic building and town, the current issues facing the book industry have mandated that we needed to move or close. With e-readers, the Internet, big box stores, and Amazon’s discounting, our customer base has dwindled and the small community here simply can no longer support a larger independent bookseller. In fact, many communities across the nation are losing many of their local businesses due to a lack of support. If people don’t get out and frequent them, they will die or in our case, move away.”

Hulbert said the site in Auburn — 3705 Auburn Way N. — fit the criteria for the right building based on information about competition, market demographics, input from patrons as well as the fact it is located 20 minutes from an existing retail site, is convenient in many ways and had favorable lease terms. All those factors made the decision easier, he said in the release.

Finally Found Books will close July 14 in Black Diamond and re-open Aug. 20 in Auburn.

Hulbert, who owns an online clothing and apparel business, told the Reporter in June 2012 he had books but no place to put them. In fact, he had more than 150,000 used books he had acquired, sitting in storage.

Most of them are now lining shelves in Finally Found Books.

Hulbert’s task now is to move them to the new location. It was a challenge to get the Black Diamond store set up, he told the Reporter in 2012, describing it as “the most demanding task of my life, trying to sort these books.”

That, however, is what awaits.

“Although we don’t look forward to relocating our 100,000 plus tomes, we are excited at the prospect of a healthy business, supporting our community, and offering a great space for gathering, socialism, and a love of books,” Hulbert said in the release. “In return, we hope the community will support us during the next month and in our new location.”


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