June 20, 2008

A Sad Day for Independent Bookstores


Berkeley CA, June 20, 2008 –

After 52 years, Cody's Books will shut its doors effective June 20, 2008. The Berkeley bookstore has been a beacon to readers and writers throughout the nation and across the world. Founded by Fred and Pat Cody in 1956, Cody's has been a Berkeley institution and a pioneer in the book business, helping to establish such innovations as quality paperbacks and in-store author readings. Throughout the 1960s and 70s, Cody's was a landmark of the Free Speech movement and was a home away from home for innumerable authors, poets and readers.

The Board of Directors of Cody's Books made this difficult decision after years of financial distress and declining sales.

According to Cody's president, Hiroshi Kagawa, "[It] is a heartbreaking moment…in the spring of 2005 when I learned about the financial crisis facing Cody's, I was excited to save the store from bankruptcy. Unfortunately, my current business is not strong enough or rich enough to support Cody's. Of course, the store has been suffering from low sales and the deficit exceeds our ability to service it."

"When I met Cody's 25 years ago, I was a freelance journalist, enraptured by its books and atmosphere. It means so much to me and I apologize to the people who have supported Cody's for not being able to keep this landmark independent bookstore open. Cody's is my treasure and more than that, Cody's is a real friend of Berkeley community and will be missed."

Cody's would like to thank all of our loyal customers for their years of patronage.

For further information contact:

Mindy Galoob, General Manager at mindy@codysbooks.com


Holly said...

Oh no! Oh, I can't believe that. When I heard that Cody's had been bought, it really seemed like its hope had been revived...this is so sad. I still remember the day I found Cody's. Cody's, I will keep on fighting in your memory and saying no to Amazon!

tanita✿davis said...

This honestly brings a few tears.

david elzey said...

I've been away from the East Bay for some time, I thought I hard that Cody's had shuddered its original store a few years ago and the writing was on the wall then?

Actually, the minute Pat Cody sold the store the personality -- and all it's warmth -- simply evaporated, so while on the one had it is sad but on the other that store died to me a long time ago.

Ah, kids, you should have seen that place in the 1980's. That's where I saw Jamaica Kincaid, Ted Geisel (with "The Butter Battle Book"), Margaret Atwood, Paul Auster...

tanita✿davis said...

*swoons* Margaret Atwood!? Oh, man! I didn't discover Cody's really until the end of high school, which was still kind of the eighties...