Kate’s Mystery Books is up for sale

The news is a long time coming but PW’s Judith Rosen has more details:

Sixty-one-year-old Kate Mattes, the Kate behind Kate’s Mystery

Books, is preparing for retirement by selling her building, a red

Victorian in North Cambridge, Mass. After 25 years, Mattes is not ready

to leave bookselling entirely. Instead, she is looking for a buyer for

her building and/or a partner, who will help her run Kate’s for the

next few years before taking it over entirely.

Mattes said her decision to sell the place that has been home to

both her and her business wasn’t fueled by changes in book retail. “I

realized that if something happened to me, my family wouldn’t know the

first thing about how to run a bookstore. They wouldn’t be able to keep

it open,” she said. Although Mattes plans to operate the store in its

present location at least through the holidays, she has already begun

cleaning out her apartment and will hold a yard sale later this month.

The store isn’t being cleaned out, though. “I have books I don’t have

room to put out,” she said. 

In the meantime, Mattes is in the delicate position of reassuring

customers that the store will continue as it always has, while combing

her customer base for potential buyers. Mattes isn’t too worried about

jinxing sales. After all, she opened Kate’s on a Friday the 13th and

decorated the interior with black cats.

In other words, it’s going to take the right buyer and the right place to keep Kate’s in good hands. Let’s hope that’s the case soon.