West Seattle businesses: Square One Books permanently closed

September 8, 2010 at 8:21 am | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news | 71 Comments

(Photo added 9:31 am – the letter is posted on the Square One storefront door)
The one-week closure announced by Square One Books in Jefferson Square has turned out to be permanent. Square One’s Gretchen Montgomery made the announcement this morning, asking us to share this letter with you:

I want to let all of my wonderful customers know that Square One Books is closing. I am greatly saddened to have to do this to our West Seattle community of booklovers who have been supporting the store for nearly 23 years. One of the hardest parts of the closing is that I have been unable to let you all know in advance. I wanted to be able to tell all of you and at least have had a closing sale where we could all reminisce and say our goodbyes.

Unfortunately, on the advice of my lawyer, I was unable to do this. I needed to close the store promptly, which meant not be able to say anything to you all when you expressed concern and asked if we were ok.

For the almost 8 years that I have owned the store, I have been trying my hardest to keep the store afloat. Many factors disadvantaged us: the opening of the Westwood Barnes and Noble, increased online purchasing, books being sold everywhere at steep discounts, the economy, high rent, and the recent trend toward e-books.

For years I have taken no salary and have personally taken on more financial debt to keep the store going. I cannot continue to struggle to pay my bills and to be constantly consumed with stress due to my situation. As much as I love the bookstore and my customers, owning the bookstore was no longer good for my mental health, my family and my financial state.

We have had the store for sale for 1.5 years, and while many people want to own a bookstore, there was no interest in purchasing a store with the overhead costs we are carrying at this location. I believe that a new, independent bookstore is needed in West Seattle and that one could succeed in a more favorable spot. I wish I could be the one to move and start again, but I cannot, and I hope that someone is willing to give it a try.

We, myself and my staff, hope to see you all around West Seattle as we have gotten to know so many of you so well over the years. We will miss our bookstore friends; you are all very special people to us. Again, I wish I could have stayed in business for you, and I thank you all for your years of support. I know you tried very hard to keep us here.

Take care,
Gretchen & the Square One Books Staff

ADDED 2:39 PM: We contacted Gretchen to ask a few questions that surfaced in comments and/or were directly e-mailed to us. Here’s her reply:

I will put up info on our door about how gift cards can be handled. … I am in the process of contacting everyone personally that I had special orders for, and if people have any questions, they can email me at gtm@square1books.com or leave a message on our store voicemail at (206) 935-5764, and I will get back to them as soon as I can.

71 Comments

  1. I’m very sad to hear of this development. I loved your store. Know that you will be greatly missed by many of us in West Seattle. Best of everything to you.

    Comment by CanDo — 8:25 am September 8, 2010 #

  2. So sad! I love this bookstore! I am guilty of buying online. I guess it’s a reminder that if we don’t patronize our local businesses, this may happen. :(

    Comment by CMT — 8:28 am September 8, 2010 #

  3. I am so BUMMED and sorry to hear this, but I understand the reasons.

    We’ll miss you Gretchen (and staff), your store was a bright spot in our neighbor hood. You always understood what customer service meant, researching and ordering books for us, going the extra mile.

    Thanks.

    Comment by JimmyG — 8:29 am September 8, 2010 #

  4. I am so sorry to hear this. Jefferson Square is definitely a crappy location for any business. I will be sad to see Square 1 go. :(

    Comment by HelperMonkey — 8:34 am September 8, 2010 #

  5. This is very sad news. I loved Square One so much. Where will I get book recommendations now?

    Comment by Noelle — 8:49 am September 8, 2010 #

  6. WSB, does that mean those of us who bought Square One gift cards are out of luck? I’m sorry for the store going out of business – I didn’t buy a lot but I was loyal – but this ticks me off.

    Comment by Laurie — 8:51 am September 8, 2010 #

  7. I’m so sad! That store was an important part of my life. I tried my best to support them, by ordering books through them and shopping there, and I’m sad that they didn’t have enough support. To Gretchen, you were always fun to talk to, and I appreciated your recommendations. Good luck!

    Comment by cherylc — 8:55 am September 8, 2010 #

  8. Major bummer. :( Best wishes, Gretchen. We’ll miss you all.

    Comment by Kayleigh — 8:59 am September 8, 2010 #

  9. Oh this is so so sad, bummer I didn’t get to use my discount before you closed. I also had ordered two books that were suppose to be in this week can I still get this or were they never ordered?

    Comment by Silly Goose — 8:59 am September 8, 2010 #

  10. noo way! bad bad news for west seattle, and very tough for gretchen and her team and family. so sorry gretchen!

    Comment by Derek Birnie — 9:09 am September 8, 2010 #

  11. Julie and I sure are sad to hear about this. We’ll miss you and wish you the best. It sounds like this was the right thing to do for your sake, though, and we appreciate all your efforts to stay open for all of us who frequented your shop.

    Comment by LeeT — 9:11 am September 8, 2010 #

  12. Thank you for your years of care. I always found special books here as well as fun calendars and unique cards. Independant Book stores help make a town a home. These are shifting times for all book sellers. Thanks for hanging in there for so long. To your customers, you were a huge success all the years you were open because you created a place that made us all smile. Take care of yourself. You deserve it. You are a hero to me, like so many other unique small business owners in West Seattle.

    Comment by Kendra — 9:17 am September 8, 2010 #

  13. Laurie, I will ask Gretchen as a followup – she sent this early today and let me know she’d be available later this morning for followup Q’s … if anyone else has one, let us know … otherwise the letter seemed fairly self-contained … TR

    Comment by WSB — 9:18 am September 8, 2010 #

  14. Wow, that is a bummer. I really cringe when I hear that another indie book stores closes. But good grief, you guys really gave it everything you had and your contribution to the quality of life in WS was appreciated by many. So kudos for the epic effort in very challenging times. Happy trails to you and yours.

    Comment by d — 9:28 am September 8, 2010 #

  15. I feel churlish for complaining about my weenie gift card loss when someone’s livelihood has failed. It’s OK, WSB – never mind. I am very sorry for Gretchen’s loss AND for ours. If it would help her at all in liquidating the store’s assets, I’m happy to buy some books at full price.

    Comment by Laurie — 9:43 am September 8, 2010 #

  16. I only ever went there once; nice store, but Jefferson Square was never really convenient for me. I do wonder, though: did the store have other employees? If so, did they know about the closure, or was keeping it from them part of the lawyer’s advice?
    That would be awful finding out that you’re suddenly unemployed, when you thought you’d just have a week off. :(

    Comment by SarahScoot — 10:03 am September 8, 2010 #

  17. Gretchen and Square 1 Staff:
    Most importantly I want to convey my sadness for you and the closure of the store and what that must mean to each of you. I was shocked and felt a bleakness about the news.

    I always enjoyed coming in, snooping around, reading reviews, and buying books. The personalities made the store so inviting -friendly, helpful, and wonderfully book-interested! The atmosphere bekoned me inside with its light, cleanliness and organization. Your support /participation in the West Seattle Community was also recognized and appreciated by this patron. Thank you for all of that (and more).

    Good karma to all of you moving forward.

    Comment by blueemerald — 10:10 am September 8, 2010 #

  18. Bummer! We should all remember to support the privately owned local businesses that we want to keep around during this economic depression, or we will loose them also. Husky Deli, Coffee to a Tea, Curious Kids, Bakery Nouveau, Plan 9, Capers, and the Train Store are all on my list. Whats on your list?

    Comment by Bummed — 10:22 am September 8, 2010 #

  19. So sorry to hear about this latest monetary development.
    With all the vacant storefronts in West Seattle, and especially in Jefferson Square, you’d think that some kind of rent accommodation could have been made.
    Not to be I guess – signs of the times.

    Comment by old timer — 10:24 am September 8, 2010 #

  20. I’m so sad. Square One Books is where I went to celebrate moments in my daughter’s life, from “Pat the Bunny” to last week’s “Mockingjay”, where I would anticipate the latest bookclub read, find a beautiful gift, get the information I need for a life issue, or have the pleasure of talking to someone who knows books and understands customer service. What a loss to our community. I wish Gretchen all the best.

    Comment by LKT — 10:32 am September 8, 2010 #

  21. I understand the pain, as a small business owner and having to tell my staff at one point, I am sorry but we have to close this location effective today its not fun at all. I say it always, when a local small business owner is trying to give you the “best price” we do work very hard at doing that. You would not believe what is involved in “behind the scene” costs in keeping that small business open. And the fact that banks do not lend to small businesses makes it even more difficult. I too have not had a paycheck in over 4 years, and I have never missed a payroll for my employees. I am sorry to hear of another loss to our community.

    Comment by coffee — 10:34 am September 8, 2010 #

  22. Ah Gretchen, such difficult news. Thank you for such an honest and open goodbye letter and thanks for always being so supportive of me, a small-time local author! Your store was loved by many, and you will be missed. Whatever your next endeavor, I hope it brings you great joy, professional satisfaction, no stress (as if there was such a thing) and boatloads of cash. Sending you and your family and staff virtual hugs.

    Comment by Val M — 10:39 am September 8, 2010 #

  23. Soon all businesses will close and you’ll have to work at Walmart and buy everything from Walmart; isn’t that great?

    Comment by August — 10:42 am September 8, 2010 #

  24. Sorry to hear this — but that wasn’t the best location, at least IMHO. I shop in the Junction all the time, but I rarely go into Jefferson Square if I can help it. But it probably would’ve been a tough go anyplace.

    We do have two other independent bookstores in the Junction (albeit used books only): Leisure Books and Pegasus.

    Comment by Ken — 10:50 am September 8, 2010 #

  25. That’s so disappointing. Buying books online or at B & N is never ever as satisfying or as much fun as it has been at Square One. Thanks for loving books and spreading your love of them to our community – you will be missed!

    Comment by N.A. Neighbor — 10:51 am September 8, 2010 #

  26. Gretchen and staff, my boys and I are so sorry to see you go. Our ritual whenever we went to Jefferson Square was Bartell’s first for treats and Square One to pick up at least one book. We will miss those trips and your not minding two active little boys having a little too much fun in your store.

    Comment by momon35th — 10:56 am September 8, 2010 #

  27. I’m so sorry to see Square One go!!!! Every time I needed a book that wasn’t in stock, Gretchen and her employees ordered it promptly and efficiently. Also, they had great reading glasses, calendars, and cards – much better than the chains and big box stores. Many thanks and best wishes to the entire staff.

    Comment by enviromaven — 10:58 am September 8, 2010 #

  28. I’m really bummin’ about this! Although I’ve committed to using our library in lieu of purchasing books, when I HAVE purchased them, I went to Square1 with the hopes that it might help them.

    Like others, if she needs to get rid of inventory, I’d come by for a sidewalk sale on a moment’s notice!

    Best of luck!

    Comment by Kate — 11:07 am September 8, 2010 #

  29. What a shame and loss for West Seattle. First Friends & Company and now Square One. Gretchen and the staff were always there when we needed them. Willing to special order anything they could, give advice and most of all always sharing a smile.

    Gretchen, I totally understand your position and I assure you that you are not alone. I know that stress level and how hard that is to live with. I am glad that you were able to make this hard decision and do what is best for you and your family.

    My best to you, Matthew and Jasper. May your future hold nothing but the best. I believe in Karma and after all the good you have done for WS, your due some of your own.

    YOU & THE STAFF WILL BE MISSED!

    Michael

    Comment by Liberty Bell Printing — 11:22 am September 8, 2010 #

  30. That is sad! It was a great little store! I always got my wall calendar there did some Christmas shopping each year. I am sorry the store was such a hardship for its owner. I hope a new little book store comes to our neck of the woods & has good luck in the years to come.

    Comment by Noelle — 11:25 am September 8, 2010 #

  31. This is very sad news. Square One was so much more than a place like Barnes and Noble. I always could count on Square One if I needed a suggestion for a gift or a good book for myself. They never did me wrong with their great advice and friendly, genuine service. They had the cutest cards and a remarkable selection, especially considering their size. To all the great ladies at Square One: you will be missed!!!

    Comment by Andrea — 11:40 am September 8, 2010 #

  32. Add me to the list of people who will be sorry to see this lovely little gem go. With the direction the book industry is going I’m not surprised, but I am sad to see a great neighborhood business fold.

    Comment by E — 11:50 am September 8, 2010 #

  33. I’m curious why her lawyer advised her to close without any public warning? She would’ve had good business her last few weeks if she announced a big closing sale.

    Comment by Ken — 12:00 pm September 8, 2010 #

  34. As another West Seattle author (and a very small-time one who is nowhere near making a living at writing, so I sympathize), I am sorry to hear this too. Best of luck to you, Gretchen–I liked the store a great deal.

    By the way, for those (like me, I admit) who sometimes order books online, there’s still a way to do that and help local indie bookstores. Do your ordering through http://www.indiebound.org – it allows you to order online through an independent store in your area. Maybe we can at least keep some of Seattle’s other good non-big-box bookshops in business.

    Comment by Molly — 12:07 pm September 8, 2010 #

  35. Your local bike shops are in the same boat. I am a regular customer at Aaron’s Bike Repair. If that shop wasn’t there, there’d be no local shop I’d trust to fix my bike. People complain that they can get bike parts and accessories cheaper online, but will they ship their bike to the online retailer for repair after their local shop has gone out of business?

    Comment by I. Ponder — 12:30 pm September 8, 2010 #

  36. Don’t be sad — shop in the remaining stores that you will miss. I always wonder how many of the mourners were actually frequent shoppers. I’m very sorry to see the book store go, but I’m not surprised since I was almost always the only person in the store during my infrequent visits.

    Shop local — NOW!

    Comment by charlabob — 12:39 pm September 8, 2010 #

  37. My condolences on your loss, and our community’s loss.

    charlabob is right: “shop in the remaining stores that you will miss”

    It’s taking me a little effort to get into the mindset of shopping local but I’ve discovered a lot of great stuff (and saved a lot of gas)!

    Comment by rewinn — 12:56 pm September 8, 2010 #

  38. “Cheaper” is sometimes “more expensive”, if you look at the big picture. I think it costs us a lot as a community to lose this lovely business.

    Comment by J — 1:30 pm September 8, 2010 #

  39. So sorry to hear about the closure. I used to love bringing my toddler daughter in to pick up new board books. The staff was always friendly and helpful.

    Comment by mtnpeak — 2:06 pm September 8, 2010 #

  40. I like J’s comment about “cheaper” sometimes being “more expensive” regarding the cost to the community. I will dearly miss Square One Books. It was my go-to bookstore for new books. I used Amazon for researching what I want and then asked Square One to order the books for me. I’m sorry they are closed and I will continue supporting the small businesses that add so much to our neighborhood and community. My best wishes for your endeavors, Gretchen.

    Comment by MercyMoi — 2:12 pm September 8, 2010 #

  41. My daughters were just getting to the age where I could send them walking up to Square One on their own, which they LOVED to do. In fact, it’s made it on our “summer fun list” several years in a row (besides shopping there other times of the year too).
    Gretchen, I wish you and your family peace of mind, body and heart (and recovery of a healthy bank account!). You and your staff provided a wonderful service to our family and to the community. We will miss you.

    Comment by CurlyQ — 2:18 pm September 8, 2010 #

  42. I’m also sorry to learn of the closing of Square One. It was recommended to me by a new neighbor when we first moved to West Seattle last year. I admit I was surprised to learn of a good local independent bookstore in the neighborhood and odds are I’d never have found it on my own. But it became my primary source for new books and I’m going to miss it now. Best wishes to Gretchen and her staff!

    Comment by Mary — 2:50 pm September 8, 2010 #

  43. I’m sorry that a positive part of West Seattle is gone. The people who worked at Square One were great and though I didn’t go there often, I will miss it.

    Comment by Ed — 3:08 pm September 8, 2010 #

  44. So sad to see this great store close. I was happy to see it hanging on when other local bookstores were closing or relocating for the same economic reasons. My husband and I counted on Square One for getting numerous Christmas and birthday gifts over the years, as did my Mom. Another blogger asked what other great West Seattle stores we need to keep patronizing so they keep their doors open, and my vote is for J. F. Henry, and I second the vote on Husky Deli.

    Comment by Beth — 3:12 pm September 8, 2010 #

  45. Oh Gretchen, I was so sad to read this…I would much rather support your store than any large chain but I guess there were just not enough people doing that. I hope you can resolve everything and I wish you the best of luck in the future. Machel

    Comment by Machel Spence — 3:26 pm September 8, 2010 #

  46. I am so saddened and you will be terribly, terribly missed. I loved your store, your children’s section, your non-fiction, this is just awful news.

    I never shop at B&N, I sort of hate that store. This is one of the sadder posts I’ve ever made here. Thanks for hanging in there as long as you did.

    Comment by Arbor Heights Mom — 3:39 pm September 8, 2010 #

  47. I am very saddened by this closure. I have purchased books there for years and they have always been helpful and friendly. It is nice to walk into a shop and have the staff greet you by name…neighborly. And welcoming.

    Comment by Cheryl Phelps — 4:03 pm September 8, 2010 #

  48. I am so so sorry to see Square One Books close. Gretchen, you and your staff provided the best service, your special order turn around was better than any bookstore. West Seattle has lost a great store. I wish you the very best of luck on your future

    Comment by Maddie — 4:05 pm September 8, 2010 #

  49. This is a great loss to all of West Seattle. Square one will be missed. If Square one cannot make it in these trying times, think about the rest of the small business community. For every $100 spent in locally owned independent businesses, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures. If you spend that at a national chain (Barnes and Noble), only $43 dollars stays here. Spend it online and NOTHING comes home. We all need to think about this and LIVE LOCAL. If we don’t, someday online and national chains is all we will have!

    We will miss Gretchen and the gang!!!

    Comment by Michael — 5:14 pm September 8, 2010 #

  50. I bought many books here during my childhood and adolescence. It was always nice to explore the small but well-organized store.

    Comment by Manuel W. — 6:35 pm September 8, 2010 #

  51. Amazon.com never asked about my kids and remembered what grade I teach like Gretchen did. I’d always happily pay a bit more for a book at my local bookstore to help keep it in my neighorhood. I wish we could all remember the value of independent bookstores when we’re tempted to save a buck online or elsewhere.

    Comment by neighborly — 8:24 pm September 8, 2010 #

  52. I really enjoyed the brand new copy of Anna Karenina that I bought from you last month. It was only $7 and I made sure to pass it along. The last thing I wanted to do was read a 950 page book electronically! I read it for hours every weekend until I finished the last delicious page. Thank you.

    Best wishes on your new endeavor.

    Comment by alkira — 9:11 pm September 8, 2010 #

  53. We are so sad. Gretchen, you were so great to my son and I, always ordering his Warriors books for him. Your store will be greatly missed and was definitely the best part of Jeff. Square. I will also miss your store so much.

    We wish you the best!!

    Comment by ellenater — 9:34 pm September 8, 2010 #

  54. So MAXIMA are you just lazy enough to pee and whine without supporting your remarks about “it sucked”… really, say more or don’t bother saying anything

    Comment by onceachef — 9:41 pm September 8, 2010 #

  55. Dear Gretchen, Family, and Staff,
    Ouch!!! I am so sorry to hear of your store closing. I understand the reasons…but I will miss bringing my varied book requests to you. And even more, I will miss your book reviews! Will you write a BLOG with your reviews? If so, please add me in! Thanks for all that you did to always find the books I wanted, and also for selling Joe Aprile’s books in your store (one of the many local authors you featured). You are the best! Take care, happy travels, and look forward to seeing you around in WS. Thanks again for all you contributed to the culture of WS! Warmly, Julia Chase (juliachase@comcast.net)

    Comment by Julia — 10:29 pm September 8, 2010 #

  56. Gretchen, I too am sad; I liked the vibe and stock on hand. Sorry to hear tha ebooks are a growing problem. I have purchased exactly one ebook. Totally unsatisfying visually, physically and economically. I will use my ipad to store free books (a bible, thesaurus, what have you) and now can continue to purchase a good ol’ physical product. I don’t have to recharge them every day.

    Comment by Steve — 8:58 am September 9, 2010 #

  57. Gretchen,

    I probably know better than anyone responding here what stress you have been under the last few years. I’m pleased for you that you have taken a difficult step that is certainly better for you (and Matt) in the long run. I wish you the best. There really is life after retail!

    Bill Hibler

    Comment by Bill Hibler — 10:38 am September 9, 2010 #

  58. Best wishes Gretchen – so sad to see you go, you were part of my weekend routine, book, nails, pizza. You are the best and I hope you do well in your next venture.

    Comment by homesweethome — 11:36 am September 9, 2010 #

  59. I’m sorry I took you for granted. I loved your store and tried to buy something whenever I could. You will be missed.

    The best of luck to you and yours….

    Comment by Blackwatch — 5:18 pm September 9, 2010 #

  60. This is very sad news. I’ve been a frequent customer of Square One since the day it opened. Rarely does a week go by when I don’t stop in at least once or twice. I will miss the store very much. Gretchen, I appreciate you and your staff and hope to see you around West Seattle in the future. Thank you for hanging in there as long as you did. I wish I could have done more. Thanks again.

    Comment by SueF — 5:55 pm September 9, 2010 #

  61. So sorry, Gretchen. We enjoyed your beautiful store. Best wishes for your next steps. Take good care!

    Comment by Gray Family — 8:50 pm September 9, 2010 #

  62. I finally read all of the comments here, and I greatly appreciate all of you praise for our store and your positive thoughts. It means a lot to me and my staff that we made a difference to many of you. You all definitely made a difference in our lives, and we will all miss interacting with you on a regular basis. My staff have been aware of the closure since I made the decision. Unfortunately, we did have to close very suddenly do to our situation with our landlords. I was not able to let anyone know or have a closing sale as I would have much preferred. I can’t get into our legal situation here, but we did need to follow the advice of our lawyer in order to protect ourselves from more financial loss. I hope that you all try to support other independent businesses in West Seattle. I know I will be buying the majority of my books from Pegasus and Leisure. Curious Kidstuff also has a great selection of children’s books, and Northwest Art and Frame carries a unique selection of books. Again, I thank all of you for your support, and your positive comments have made me feel a bit better during this difficult time. If you have any questions, feel free to email me at gtm@square1books.com. This email address will be good through the month of September.
    Gretchen

    Comment by square one books — 9:27 pm September 9, 2010 #

  63. No!!!!!
    I am greatly saddened by this! First Hullabaloo then Square 1? You and your staff were alwasy so helpful, friendly and knowledgable EVERY time I went in. You will be missed.

    Comment by das — 10:26 am September 10, 2010 #

  64. I just heard the news today and I’m heartbroken! Square 1 was a model of what a good neighborhood bookstore should be, and with its loss our neighborhood just got less awesome.

    Comment by Phoebe — 4:50 pm September 10, 2010 #

  65. I for one will never shop in Jefferson Square again. Mismanagement by landlords is the chief cause of the difficulties faced by independent businesses. The Jefferson Square managers denied an independent coffee shop its request for a new lease when their old one had ended. Instead they had Starbucks move into the vacated spot. The current result of that move is an empty corner store and no comfortable gathering place for West Seattle citizens at the square. They seemingly were happy to see a business of 23 years (the bookstore) close down rather than negotiate a compromise. Another empty location? Let’s keep West Seattle a livable community by supporting West Seattle business.
    Sandra

    Comment by Sandra Smith — 3:10 pm September 14, 2010 #

  66. It is discouraging when a small local business folds due to factors such as mentioned in Gretchen’s letter. From my personal shopping experience at Square One, I’m surprised this place didn’t fail sooner.

    I frequented this store every 2 months or so for for 2-3 years and cannot recall EVER receiving a friendly customer service experience. No one ever asked me if I needed help finding something – whether I needed it or not, it would have been nice to be acknowledged – and when paying for my books, it seemed that saying “thank you for shopping here” was difficult for the sales associate to utter.

    I kept shopping there as I lived right across the street at City Watch and could just walk over when I wanted a new book(s). Finally, I just gave up on Square One.

    I continued my love affair with Pegasus Used Books (the best! So friendly, helpful and all around great peep’s) and went with Amazon where dealing electronically is a more satisfying experience than I had at Square One.

    Comment by Antonia — 4:06 pm September 16, 2010 #

  67. Upon returning home from a vacation in Oregon, I was so very sad to read about the closure of Square One Books.

    This has been such a wonderful bookstore—my grandchildren and 96-year old step dad have reaped the rewards of the excellent recommendations of Gretchen, her staff, and Charlotte before her. There has never been a book purchased for them from Square One that they haven’t loved.

    I can truthfully and proudly say that I never purchased a book from Costco or Barnes & Noble, and that I gave friends and relatives the evil eye if I knew they were even thinking of such a thing. I am not sure what I will do next, but the disappearance of independent bookstores, toy stores and other small businesses is a great loss to our community.

    I hope Gretchen will go on to find something she can be passionate about (even though nothing will ever replace her incredible, welcoming, informative and lovable store).

    Sandy Adams

    Comment by Sandy — 8:06 pm September 17, 2010 #

  68. I am behind – I didn’t realize that SquareOne had closed until I walked there today with a purchase in mind…and saw the empty store and Gretchen’s letter taped in the window. I am so very sorry that West Seattle has lost such an important part of its story – Barnes and Noble will never be able to offer what SquareOne did, and I will miss SquareOne immensely.

    And I appreciate the reminders to shop locally – what a painful lesson this is about what happens when we don’t do that.

    All my best to the SquareOne owners and staff.

    Comment by Kristina — 1:17 pm September 23, 2010 #

  69. Thank you, Gretchen, for your explanation. I am sorry also and thank you for your efforts to keep your store going. I wish you the best of luck in the future.

    Comment by Jennifer — 5:47 pm September 28, 2010 #

  70. oh sweet gretchen (if you get this)…I am going to buy books for a friend’s 3 y.o. for her birthday and I was so excited to come see you and support your business. Sorry it took me so long…too long. I totally understand your letter on a deep level. Please call if I can do anything…jeannine has my number! A great reminder to support local businesses whenever you can…Love, Katy

    Comment by Katy — 3:56 pm October 19, 2010 #

  71. Does any one know how to get ahold of Gretchen? Her email as listed above is no longer working the phone is not forwarded, web site is gone…

    I have $60 work of gift cards that belong to my kids that they received as gifts and would like to ask her if she can refund the money. Thats a big chunk to swallow.

    Comment by Marguerite — 8:41 pm November 1, 2010 #

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