Independent bookstore in Xenia going out of business

Blue Jacket Books, an independent bookseller and anchor tenant in a group of businesses in downtown Xenia, is closing.

Citing dismal sales through the holidays and January being “our worst month ever,” co-owner Lawrence Hammar announced the closure on Facebook.

“In-store sales have always been disappointingly slow, given that Xenia is a county seat and at the hub of three rural highways,” Hammar wrote. “In brief, we’ve lost our shirts but wish to keep our pants.”

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This would have been the independent bookseller’s 11th year in business, operating at its current location, 30 S. Detroit St., since 2013.

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The store is a hub of activity in the community, in large part because of the adjoining cafe, Table of Contents, which is run by Hammar’s wife and co-owner Cassandra Lee.

“The cafe is gonna stay right where it is,” Hammar’s Facebook post reads.

RELATED >>> Blue Jacket Books in transition after years of low profit

The location is also home to other businesses and organizations, including Our Family Soap and Yellow Dogs Pet Supplies.

The bookstore’s inventory of 10,000-plus books, as well as shelving carts, fixtures, sharpies and kick stools, will be sold off at discounts from March 5 through May 12.

“We'll think of creative ways to use space in the building, and we're open to suggestions so long as they nurture creativity, surround the cafe with even more love and art, and keep their eyes on the prize of peace and social justice,” according to Hammar’s post.

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