City’s last new bookseller to close shop
By Gordon Dritschilo
Staff Report | June 19,2014
Albert J. Marro / Staff Photo
Book King on Center Street in Rutland will close its doors at the end of July. Wonderfeet Kids’ Museum might move into the location.
After 43 years, four locations and two owners, Book King will close its doors at the end of next month.
An email sent out Wednesday afternoon said the store will end its regular hours June 28 and will open after that only during the Friday night downtown events, during which remaining stock will be marked down. The store will close entirely at the end of July and special orders will not be taken after June 24.
“I want to take a moment to thank all our loyal customers,” said the email from owner Elizabeth Dulli. “Your patronage has been much appreciated and it has been a pleasure serving you over these last 5½ years that we have been open at this location.”
Dulli could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
The store’s location at 11 Center St. had already been discussed as the home for a much-expanded incarnation of the nearby Wonderfeet Kids’ Museum. The organization recently launched a fundraising campaign to support the plan.
“I’m confident with the amount of people who have supported the children’s museum, that is going to be a reality,” said Michael Coppinger, executive director of the Downtown Rutland Partnership.
The late Steve Eddy opened Book King in 1971. Initially at 64 Merchants Row, it moved across the street to the Opera House in 1979, and operated there for many years before a second move, back across the street to 94 Merchants Row.
Coppinger recalled getting concert tickers at Book King when it was in the Opera House — for a time it was the local Ticketmaster outlet — and doing a lot of Christmas shopping there for family members.
Early in 2009, Eddy sold the business to Dulli, a former employee, who moved it around the corner to the Center Street location.
With Annie’s Book Stop going out of business and Diamond Run Mall unable to retain a bookstore, Book King was Rutland’s only bookstore until Bookmobile opened on Merchants Row last year.
“This is certainly an opportunity for the Bookmobile to change their marketing strategy a little bit,” Coppinger said.