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Rodney's Books in Central Square won't close, after all

Posted by Brock Parker  November 8, 2010 05:20 PM

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Rodney’s Books is rewriting what had appeared to be the end for the store in Cambridge’s Central Square.

Seven months after posting a closing sale sign in his store windows at 698 Massachusetts Ave., Rodney’s Books owner Shaw Taylor said Monday that his business will not close at the end of this year as he had expected.

“We’re staying for a while,” said Taylor. “We don’t know how long.”

Taylor said his landlord has offered to reduce his rent and is not requiring the store to sign a long-term lease, which will help the business attempt stay open.

Rodney’s Books has been in Central Square for more than 10 years, but in the spring Taylor said a number of factors, including the down economy, changing reading habits and the high cost of rent in a prime location, were going to force him to close.

“For the last two years, I was essentially losing money,” he said.

Rodneys.jpg

In May, the store launched a closing sale and Taylor said he expected to shut the doors for good at the conclusion of this year when his lease ran out.

But Taylor said renegotiating his rent will help the business remain open, and the success of the closing sale has enabled the store to pay off its bills. If the economy improves, Taylor said he’s hoping to stay open for at least another five years in Central Square.

“I didn’t really want to close,” he said.

In the past year, small bookstores in Belmont, Lexington, and Cambridge all shut their doors, citing lost business from online book sales, the recession, and other industry factors. Last week, the New England Mobile Book Fair said it was seeking a buyer, but insisted it would remain open.

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