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.
"It's all become a bunch of gadgets these days."