Boardwalk Bookstore closes its doors Dec. 31 after more than 35 years in business

Boardwalk Bookstore will close its doors Dec. 31 after more than 35 years in business.

Owner Bettye Hendrickson said the closure is not related to the economy, although the store has been for sale with no expressed interest.

The closure will leave the town with three book stores: Griffin Bay Bookstore on Spring Street, Harbor Bookstore at Cannery Landing, and Serendipity on A Street.

"I've truly enjoyed owning the store for the past four years, but moving 50-pound boxes around has really taken its toll," Hendrickson said. "I have degenerative osteoarthritis and it's time to give my back and neck a rest."

Hendrickson is on the staff of the San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau.

Hendrickson is offering holiday specials of 40 to 60 percent off all in-stock books and greeting cards through Dec. 31. In the meantime, she will be referring her loyal customers to her friends at the other bookstores on the island.

Hendrickson bought Boardwalk Bookstore from long-time owner Dorthea Augusztiny four years ago. The cozy store was tucked above Front Street Cafe and Banana Belt, with small windows looking out over the harbor. The shop specialized in local books, maps and nautical charts, as well as bestsellers and popular fiction.

After Hendrickson bought the store, she moved it downstairs to the space formerly occupied by Gourmet's Galley, which had moved to larger quarters. The new ground-level space, at the back of the Historic Arcade Building, elevated Boardwalk's accessibility and profile, and Hendrickson frequently hosted book signings and presentations by authors.

On Monday, Boardwalk's swan song will be an appearance by New York Times bestselling crime writer Ann Rule.

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