Saturday, June 14, 2008


Jay Dantry, owner of Jay's Book Stall in Oakland, is closing the store after 49 years of business.
There are a couple of reasons why independent bookstores are declining, but none applies to Jay's Book Stall in Oakland, closing Friday after 49 years.
"I'm going to be 80 in August and waiting for 'Dancing With the Stars' to call," Jay Dantry joked yesterday, explaining why he's retiring and closing down. He opened his shop, at 3604 Fifth Ave., in 1959, but has sold books for 53 years.

Dressed uncharacteristically in shorts and sneakers, he was perched in his usual spot at the front counter with a view of the busy street.
That scene was the only familiar one remaining, however. The narrow space, usually crammed with books, was practically stripped bare, the handmade floor-to-ceiling shelves mostly empty.
"I'm going to go home, read and take it easy," Mr. Dantry said when asked about his retirement plans. "I'm so glad that we're leaving now," he added, pointing to the technological changes in the way people read, including Amazon's digital "book" display, Kindle.
"It's all become a bunch of gadgets these days."

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