CARLSBAD — “Never throw away a book,” guided Janice Roberts’ business philosophy when it came to running her community bookstore, The Paperback Book Exchange, in the heart of Carlsbad Village.
Her bookstore has served the community for 30 years, and encouraged the recycling of old paperback books. Customers have brought in paperback books to exchange for new ones at half the price. Roberts never has thrown away a book, instead she donates excess books to the homeless, Hospice, women’s recovery centers, jails and hospitals.
Her son Craig MacLaughlin credits the store’s closure to the rise in eBooks and Amazon. He said customers were switching over to online book purchasing because of how easy it was.
“It’s interesting listening to people’s comments about book technology versus a book. I think there’s a little romance around the book. Just holding it in your hand and taking it to bed versus holding the Kindle. It is not a very warm experience,” said MacLaughlin.
Roberts noticed a decline in customers about two or three years ago but was able to keep the store open, until now. The bookstore will be closed by the end of September.
Her location on Carlsbad Village Drive is home to more than 25,000 paperback books. Roberts built her book collection from scratch, along with her husband George.
“She went to garage sales, asked friends for books, and would just hunt,” said MacLaughlin.
Her community based bookstore welcomed tourists and locals alike. She had lots of regulars and many will be sad to see her go, according to MacLaughlin.
Customers with credit from past exchanges will be able to come use it before the storewide sale starts Aug. 11.