Local bookstore owner closes doors for final time in five days

by: POST PHOTO: JIM HART - A smile creeps onto Thom Walkers face as he takes books from the bookcases he built over the years. Walkers business, Some Bookstore in Sandy, is closing Dec. 31.It’s a good thing Thom Walker was already retired when he opened the business Some Bookstore in Sandy seven years ago.

While the bookstore hasn’t been a profitable venture, Walker isn’t complaining.

Instead, he calls the venture “a labor of love” and uses the word “bittersweet” when he talks about closing the store.

“I have enjoyed this as much or more than anything I’ve ever done,” he said, “because of the people I’ve met and the friends I’ve made.”

But the fact that his wife is employed weekdays and he works weekends doesn’t give them any time together.

“I’m looking forward to spending more time with my wife,” he said. “I work 60-70 hours a week, and I can’t get anything done at home. When I start one of those ‘honey-do’ projects, it can drag on for weeks.”

Even though Walker feels like he deserves some time of his own, he also feels bad that he has to close the store to gain that time.

He says it feels like he’s letting his regular customers down. The three couches in his store have become a place to hang out, sip coffee, chat about current politics or read a book — a virtual coffee shop, library and community living room all wrapped into one space.

There was an initial shock that hung over Sandy when the first announcement was made that the iconic bookstore would close.

Walker said one of his regular customers came in and began to cry when he told the woman he was closing the business.

“I feel a sense of obligation to the people who come in here regularly,” he said, “like I’m letting them down. But at some point I have to take care of my life.”

Walker’s clientele and his friends are so diverse that he says he cannot imagine them being a part of a book club — all reading the same book.

“The people who come in here are spread across every spectrum you could imagine,” he said, “from left to right, from here to there and everywhere else.”

So his continuing visits with friends gained in the bookstore are likely to be chance encounters around town.

Or perhaps meeting in another local coffee shop where there are no books.

Some Bookstore in Sandy, filled with the 60 bookcases he built and thousands of books on every imaginable topic, will be open each day at 9 a.m. for the next five days beginning Thursday, Dec. 27.

But come New Year’s Day, the door will remain locked, while Walker moves out during January.

The store is open Monday and Thursday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. The store is closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

For more information, call Walker at 503-668-9640.

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