Used bookstore to close after 23 years

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EAST KILDONAN

NORTH KILDONAN

The owners of Dog-Eared Books at 1157 Henderson Hwy. know when it’s time to turn the page.

Linda Durham (left) and Anne Ens, the co-owners of Dog-Eared Books (1157 Henderson Hwy.), are closing shop on Aug. 24.

After 23 years in business, Dog-Eared Books will close on Aug. 24. Co-owners Anne Ens and Linda Durham have decided to give their full attention to spending time with, and caring for, family.

Durham founded the bookstore in 1999 and Ens bought into the company almost a decade later.

The partnership was organic, Ens explained.

“I just walked by and said I wanted to buy a bookstore,” Ens said.

“And I thought, competition,” Durham joked.

Dog-Eared Books began as an extension of Durham’s personal library. At 49, the bookworm found herself in search of a new career. Durham found the shop a home in the North Kildonan strip mall — a space that has served the business well over the years.

Parting with her books was a challenge at first. Will they go to a good home, Durham wondered.

“But you get over that fast if you want to pay the rent,” Durham said, with a laugh.

“When you’re here a long time, this becomes your library, right?” Ens said. “What’s here is ours, but now it’s time to get rid of them.”

Now, the task at hand is to find new homes for the 8,000 books that still line the shelves — a number much less daunting in light of the fact they started out with nearly 18,000.

On Aug. 2 alone, Ens and Durham sold 400 books. All books now cost $1 a pop. What isn’t sold by the end of the month will be donated.

The pair say the community’s response to the news of the closure has been wonderful. Many, particularly those who have frequented the independent bookstore since day one, are sad to see it shuttering.

“Our clientele is mostly seniors. This is a place where they came once a month and bought their books,” Ens said. “There’s very few (bookstores) left in the area.”

Ens explained that she and Durham — as women — were able to connect with female clientele over stories in a special way.

Even so, the booksellers’ tastes don’t overlap much.

Durham’s specializes in sci-fi, young adult reads and cookbooks; Ens gravitates to suspense, romance and fiction. Right now, Durham is feasting on a cookbook called 12,167 Kitchen and Cooking Secrets by Susan Sampson.

“(The customers) are very loyal,” Ens said. “They’ll come here first and then go to other bookstores to fill in the gaps.”

Durham and Ens recommend area residents check out Good Neighbours Active Living Centre Bookstore inside Bronx Park Community Centre (720 Henderson Hwy.), as well as Sam’s Place (159 Henderson Hwy.), in their absence.

The pair encourages customers to drop by the shop before Aug. 24 to bid them farewell.

Katlyn Streilein

Katlyn Streilein
Community Journalist

Katlyn Streilein is a reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review. She can be reached by phone at 204-697-7132 or by email at katlyn.streilein@canstarnews.com

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