Too early to call for followup info, but an e-mail last night from Mary Gay Shipley in Blytheville signals the potential end of her state treasure and 36-year-old cultural institution, That Bookstore in Blytheville.

“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1
It is now time for change. It has been a privilege to serve you all these years. I am proud of the role That Bookstore In Blytheville has played in the life of our community.

It is my sincere hope that someone or some group will come forward and continue TBIB in some fashion. I am not going anywhere and would be happy to help a new owner transform TBIB into their own vision.

I believe the next few years will be exciting for independent booksellers who embrace the multiple reading formats and who are located in areas with a strong “buy local” economy. It would be a fun challenge, if only I were a decade younger.

And so, I am ready to turn loose of That Bookstore in Blytheville and spend more time with my family.
Thank you for the wonderful times.

Mary Gay Shipley
That Bookstore in Blytheville
316 West Main
Blytheville, AR 72315

Meanwhile we will be here through 2 more John Grisham books, events with Melissa Conroy, Ann B. Ross, Charlaine Harris, World Book Night, and Children’s Book Week.

UPDATE: Shipley, who’ll turn 68 next month, says she hopes to find a buyer for the store, but will close if no deal develops. She adds that the store “will be a bargain as I do not need to fund my IRA.” She has no timeline in place, but hopes the future will become clear in the next two to three months.