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Pazzo Books to soon close brick-and-mortar store in West Roxbury

Posted by Matt Rocheleau  January 14, 2014 12:10 PM

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It’s the final chapter for Pazzo Books – sort of.

After 11 years of selling used, rare and out-of-print books, first in Roslindale and then in West Roxbury, Tom Nealon says his shop will soon close for good. But he will continue selling his collection online, at fairs and by appointment.

“I am sorry, relieved, exhausted, and melancholy,” Nealon wrote in a message on his business’ website, which was previously reported on by local news blog Universal Hub.

The store on Centre Street in West Roxbury will close in late March, he said. Starting Feb. 1, he will hold a “50-percent off sale” and will offer “even deeper discounts” leading up to the shutdown.

“While the rare books side of the business has thrived … the rest of the business has continued to be challenging,” Nealon wrote. “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.”

“The brick and mortar side of the business hasn’t ever, in 11 years, really made sense from a financial point of view, but lately it has been harder to source the sort of good stock that used to wander in the door,” he added. “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,” continued Nealon.

He said his favorite part of the business has been: “The people, for sure – the people that I met through the store have been life alteringly great.”

“Many, many of my favorite people in the world I met through the book store – it has been a terrific thing, the smartest thing I’ve ever done (which friends will tell you is a low bar, but still). But, lovely as Pazzo’s customers are, there just aren’t enough of them.”

He said he wouldn’t rule out opening a book shop again someday.

Nealon wrote that his daughter wants him to reopen once she’s old enough to work there.

“I’d love to be doing well enough and be refreshed enough in a few years to do it again. I like that my daughter got to grow up for a bit in a bookstore – it would be cool if my son could as well,” he said. “The book business is going through an interesting time but I think the next several years should offer some clarity.”

E-mail Matt Rocheleau at
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