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Jacobsen's Books to close next month


HILLSBORO TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO - Tina Jacobsen opened her bookstore on Main Street in Hillsboro in 2010, but will close her doors in February. “I’ll just go buy it online.”

Tina Jacobsen has heard this line more times than she can count, and she credits this attitude for the past few years of slow sales that have led her to close the doors of Jacobsen’s Books & More.

She plans to liquidate her inventory and move out of the Main Street location by the end of February, after nearly six years in business.

On her way out, she’s trying to give a voice to small business owners, spreading the word to support small, local businesses.

With the recent closures of Bike N Hike on Fourth Avenue and Hank’s Thriftway, downtown Hillsboro regulars are feeling the sting of losing their local businesses.

Jacobsen has a lot of regular customers who want to see a brick-and-mortar book shop in downtown Hillsboro. “A lot of people see value in it, but unfortunately not enough,” Jacobsen said last week.

It’s no secret American independent bookstores have been suffering in recent years with the increasing popularity of ebooks and online sales. While Jacobsen thinks ebooks factor into the difficulty of making a living selling books, she believes the biggest blow comes from online sellers such as Amazon.com, which can offer most titles and often at a lower price.

The retail storefront at 211 E. Main St. has been a bookstore owned by various proprietors for more than 20 years, Jacobsen said.

Jacobsen hasn’t just been selling books for the past few years. She’s been holding special children’s events and has tirelessly promoted the works of local, independently published authors. She’s currently stocking work by more than 100 local authors and holds signings throughout the year. Meeting people in the community and discovering local authors were her favorite parts of the business — and those two reasons alone make it hard to close.

While Jacobsen said it’s taken about a year for her to come to terms with the fact that her dream isn’t working, she’s finally accepted that it’s time to try something else. Working six days a week — which meant missing many of her son’s activities and skimping on family time — she made only $10,000 in 2015, her best year yet.

Growing up in a family business herself, she was hoping she could raise her son alongside her bookstore, where he could learn business management and ethics. “I really wanted that for my son,” she said.

Jacobsen will start holding sales at the store, trying to move the 19,000 volumes inventoried.

“If you love a store and you love the people in a store, you need to keep them there by supporting them,” Jacobsen said. “I really enjoyed having the store and really appreciate the support people have given us.”