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Last chapter for Westhampton Beach bookstore

Terry Lucas, owner of the Open Book store

Terry Lucas, owner of the Open Book store in Westhampton Beach. She holds books that the Westhampton Beach Board of Education was considering removing from the ninth grade reading list -- "The Tenth Circle" by Jodi Piconlt and "Cradle and All" by James Patterson. (Dec. 12, 2007) Photo Credit: Patrick Oehler, 2007

The Open Book, an independent bookstore in Westhampton Beach, is closing after 13 years in business.

"Sadly, the difficult economy, the rise of the popularity of e-books and the arrival of another bookstore down the block have combined to form a set of circumstances that will result in the closing of The Open Book by the end of the year," Terry Lucas, the owner, says in a post on her blog Bookmama's World.

"We have tried everything to stay open but it is just not financially feasible to keep going," Lucas writes.

The Glovers Lane store will stay open a few more months, and Lucas plans to sell off her books, chairs, shelves and window decorations.

The closing merited a story by the book-industry journal Publishers Weekly, which notes, "Owner Terry Lucas’s decision to move her store off Main Street last year undoubtedly played a role, especially when Jack McKeown and Denise Berthiaume leased her former space and opened Books & Books Westhampton in July, 2010."

Lucas recaps, on her blog, the quiet joys of being a bookseller. "The Open Book has always been more than a business to me. The store is the place where my children grew up, where the employees worked on their school projects and rehearsed their plays," she recalls.

"Movies were filmed, songs were sung, books were read aloud, customers shared their favorites, a few romances bloomed and throughout it all, I sat back and smiled about this amazing little world that had grown up around a few books. I will miss all of this. I will miss all of you. But I am happy that for a few years, The Open Book existed in Westhampton Beach and enjoyed the privilege of being your local bookstore."

On the store's Facebook page, customers commiserate.

". . .sadness, but we are glad you did go ahead and take the leap 13 years ago!" one fan writes on Facebook.

"You gave it your very best effort. . .for that you should be proud," another says.

"I am saddened by this news, Terry. You know how I supported you and wanted all independents to do well . . . It's a lousy time for all of us!" says another. "I hope you go on to do more interesting and satisfying endeavors."

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