Chapter Ends for Two Independent Bookstores

EDWARDSVILLE — Two more independent bookstores have fallen victim to e-books. Book Swap in Edwardsville and its sister store in Scranton are closing at the end of the month.

Once upon a time in the year 1976,  Alfred Bradley’s wife and sister-in-law decided to open Book Swap in Edwardsville.

“We never made a real lot of money out of the store. We had other jobs. But it was kind of our passion, too. So we just kept going,” said owner Alfred Bradley.

Just five years later, Alfred and his wife began another chapter by opening a shop in Scranton. As the story goes, book lovers far and wide could turn in their used books and swap them out for others.

Used paperbacks for cheap is what brought Shirley Petrillo of Wilkes-Barre to the store when she was just a teenager.

“I love to read, about a book a day,” said Petrillo.

She says Book Swap is better than the chains, like Barnes and Noble.book swat exterior

“I feel like I don’t want to give them what they ask. You know, their price tags are a little shocking to me,” said Petrillo.

One of the reasons bradley says he has to close the stores is because e-books are cutting into 20 to 25 percent of his sales. That’s this many books on this one shelf alone. Just think how many books that is in the whole store.

“Most people still like books, but it’s progress. What can you do?” said Bradley.

The stores’ leases are up at the end of the month, Alfred Bradley is nearing 80. The store will be missed.

“I don’t like it. I wish I could buy it from him,” said Petrillo.

But Bradley says it’s time to turn to the final page of his bookstore’s story, where the only words left are “the end.”