Kevin Krein had the honor of ringing up the last sale in the history of River City Books: a travel guide to Costa Rica. If the Raven were still with us he would, no doubt, strain his back trying to find the symbolism. In his place, I can only offer a picture. Thanks and best wishes to this customer and every one who came before her.
Archive for March 2009
Hello, Raven readers. This is not the Raven but rather Jon Lee, manager at River City Books, and I am writing to inform you of some very sad news. The River City Raven has died.
As you know, all of us at River City Books have been noticeably distraught by the recent announcement that our store would soon close. But no one took it harder than the Raven.
For a along time, he denied that the news was actually true. “I know,” he said, “you’re going to reopen on April 1 and that this will go down as the all-time gag on this Hall of Fame fool.” But as the weeks went on and as our shelves became depleted with no reinforcements in sight, he started to see that we were not joking, and a palpable depression came over him. None of us can ever remember our black bird so blue. He would come into the store, same as always, but there was something missing, some darkness in his eyes that we have had never seen before.
Well, he started eating. A lot. Put on some weight in a hurry, in fact. We didn’t want to say anything because it made him self-conscious but the Raven became so bloated he couldn’t even lift himself up to our remainder tables. In a way, his anxiety swelled in his belly as though he was about to give birth to a bowling ball. It was difficult to see him like that, believe me. This was Willie Mays in a Mets uniform.
But the Say Hey Kid only left center field, not the earth. Our dear Raven is gone, having ate himself into oblivion.
You should know, though, that even in his most difficult hours, he never forgot you, his dear readers. “I can’t let them down,” he would say between bacon melts. And so he kept working until the end. In fact, when we found him this morning he had passed in the most appropriate of places — on his keyboard. His unfinished manuscript will be left for scholars to reconcile. What I can tell you is the last word he ever wrote.
I told you’d I had more final week news and in all this time have I ever not delivered on a promise? Please keep your answers to yourselves.
On Sunday, March 29 — the final day in the seven-year history of River City Books — RCB booksellers are graciously hosting a store-closing reception. Please come, commiserate, celebrate, hearken fond memories, and, of course, if you so choose, buy more great stuff at historically low prices.
Store hours that day are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The reception will be from 1 to 4 p.m. Also, my favorite four words: refreshments will be served.
Note that I am told the word “light” should be inserted so as to make that a five-word disclaimer. In any event, see you there.
Seems like only a few days ago that I was announcing details about River City Books’ month-long going-out-of-business sale. That’s what happens when you want something to last — it goes by just so fast.
Now we’re down to the wire, the final week in the store’s history, and they’re pricing books, CDs, DVDs, gifts, clothing, yada, yada, so low because, well, they want to use as few moving boxes as possible. Which is the silver lining to this cloudy week — a savings rundown that’s otherwise hard to believe.
Between now and the final day, Sunday, March 29, they’ll take:
- 45 percent off all books
- 75 percent off all bargain books and other selected titles
- 75 percent off all clothing and gifts
- 25 percent off all DVDs and CDs
By the way, I’ll be back in a couple winks to let you know about some D-day details.
There is a game of chicken going on. Maybe it’s craps. Or roulette? I don’t play many games, except for Scrabble and — don’t alert the media — I’m not even very good at that. I’ll I know is that today’s the day when those who didn’t flinch are really happy. That’s because today River City Books moves into the second phase of what I like to call — actually, I just thought of this fourteen seconds ago — Phaseout Grande. Like climbing an inverse mountain, the deals just keep getting steeper (and easier). Here’s the latest rundown: Until Saturday, March 21, regular trade books are 40 percent off; bargain books are 50 percent off; and clothing and gifts are 50 percent off. Of course, CDs and DVDs are also 25 percent off. In other words, everything is on sale and, if I were you, I wouldn’t wait much longer to pull the trigger, show your hand, spin the wheel, or do whatever it is you do.
People with a hankering for cheap stuff are still teeming into River City Books! As my handy photographying clearly shows—for the four people who don’t know, pictured is lifetime Northfield resident and RCB bookseller Beth Vivant—often a sturdy bag is required to hold all of the trade books, bargain books, gifts, clothing, CDs, DVDs and warm memories that are being carrying out the front door. Just to be clear, in case I haven’t yet been, inventory is not being replaced. Get what you want while you still can!
The snow is melt, melt, melting away — hooray! — and it just might be because the deals down at River City Books are that hot. I was in there the other night and was hardly the only one. Like me, people were buying great new hardcovers and paperbacks for 25 percent off; and greeting cards, book holders, mini footballs and the like for 40 percent off. Of course, music and movies are also 25 percent off. Honestly, it’s striking. A person will bring four books and two cards to the register and get them all for like 25 bucks. And you can, too. This weekend is the first full weekend of the end-of-times sale and shoppers smarter than me — shuddup! — are thinking of it this way: by the time the snow returns I’ll have almost all my holiday shopping done already.
Excuse me! I’ve been busy putting my affairs in order. I have a lot of affairs. Though not of the kind Mrs. Raven needs to worry about. Anyway, the plucky River City Books fiction book club is the club that will not die. Despite their favorite meeting place’s imminent demise, they are, like a chameleon in a car, adapting to new environs. The skinny: the club meets at 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 3, at the James Gang Hideaway. Club members will be wide awake for a discussion about “Dreaming in Cuban.” All are welcome. Plus, good salads. By the way, I’ve never dreamed in Cuban, but one of my dreams did include a cameo by Fidel Castro.