Chattanooga's oldest book store closing after 40 years
After 40 years in business, the oldest locally owned book store in Chattanooga is closing its doors.
After 40 years in business, the oldest locally owned book store in Chattanooga is closing its doors. The Book Rack on Dayton Boulevard has been a bargain hunter's dream for finding a good used book to read. The owner says all 50,000 books must go.
"Who wouldn't want a dream job of sitting around reading books and meeting interesting people?" said Helen Aiken, owner of The Book Rack.
Channel 3 introduced you to Helen Aiken last year.
"I think of it as one step between a library and a retail store," said Aiken.
She went from part-time employee to owner of The Book Rack in 2013 when the previous owner fell ill.
"She forced me to buy it by selling it to me for a dollar," said Aiken.
"She did what she could. It's a lot more than most anybody else could do to keep this place going," said Brooks Jones.
Sadly, The Book Rack is now in its last days.
"The store means just about as much to her as it does to customers," said Jones.
Helen was too emotional to talk with Channel 3 on camera this time around. So Brooks Jones, who helps out at the store, did his best to sum up Helen's mission in almost three years as owner.
"It's just an attempt at preserving the original method of literature," said Jones.
But times, they are-a-changing.
"It's not just books, it's a way of life. That way of life is changing these days with Nooks and the electronic way of reading," he said.
If video killed the radio star, the electronic age is killing the paperback.
"Hopefully this helps people out there realize the impact that the electronic side of literature is having on the original and classic side, is that small family-owned businesses like this are going out of business," said Jones. "I don't think proud begins to touch the way I feel about what she's done here. I mean she's done everything she could and more."
The store will be open until December 30 but the organization 'Friends of the Library' is coming to the store to start boxing up the books on the 29th, so you only have a few more days to get some good deals.
For more information, click here for The Book Rack's Facebook page.