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Book store closes doors

By William InmanDaily Planet Staff
Friday September 01, 2000

A few obscure cassette tapes and compact discs by easily forgotten artists like “Katrina and the Waves” and “Poco,” along with a handful of old books and magazines – some circa 1979 – dotted the dusty bookshelves at Half Price Books at 2525 Telegraph Ave. about 5 p.m. Thursday afternoon. 

They were the leftovers of a 95 percent markdown. A moving out sale to get rid of all its stuff to avoid warehousing.  

After 16 years at the location along the strip of Telegraph known for its bevy of bookstores, the book and music dealer is closing its doors. 

“It’s sad, we’ll miss Telegraph,” said manager Ellen Foster, who has worked at the store for 13 years. 

“This store is just too small for us,” she said. “It’s the smallest of the 60 some (Half Price Book) stores. It’s just not as profitable as some of the larger stores.” 

No, the store isn’t a victim of a hellish rent increase, nor were they bought out by Starbucks. said. “We just need to be bigger,” she said. 

None of their employees will be forced to panhandle across the street, either. 

“Most of our employees have gone back to school, and some are being transferred to our Solano store,” she said.  

Half Price has another Berkeley location at 1849 Solano Ave. 

And Foster is also staying with the company, too, she said. 

Foster said the 25-year-old chain purchased a larger space for the re-sale books and music chain in Concord. She said they’re set to open in January. 

“I’ll miss them,” said Andy Ross, owner of nearby Cody’s Books. “It’s where I met my wife.” 

Ross said that there isn’t much competition between the handful of bookstores that inhabit the two or three blocks of Telegraph, and said he didn’t think that it would affect his business at all. 

Foster agreed.  

“The more bookstores the better,” she said.  

She added that the landlord asked her to leave the shelves in the store because he’s anticipating another bookstore.