Goodbye, Kate’s Mystery Books
While I can’t say I am surprised, the news that Kate’s Mystery Books in Cambridge will be closing its doors next month still saddens me greatly. Owner Kate Mattes explained her reasoning to the Porter Square Neighbors List (reprinted by Ron Newman):
Many of you have been aware that I have had the building which houses
the store on the market for awhile. I have finally sold it. I of course
have mixed feelings about this but know it is the right decision for
me. The new owners have allowed me to stay on for a while but Kate’s
Mystery Books will be closing on August 1st. Between now and then,
everything in the store will be sold at 25% off. On Saturday, August
1st, we will be having a packing party from 11-5 AND we will also have
our Annual Yard Sale (books $1 and under) at the same time.
hope you can get in in the next few weeks to say good-bye although I
won’t actually disappear. We will be having author events at different
venues and of course we will have the annual holiday party so there
will be opportunities for the mystery community to get together. You
will get notices of them from me.
It is sad though to close the
store. I hope you can join us on August 1st to celebrate the good times
we have had and to help pack everything up. I know we can do it, as we
have done it before. (Remember the bus?)
It is been a true joy
for me to have had the opportunity to me such interesting and diverse
people and i will definitely miss you.
I’m glad to hear Kate won’t be disappearing from the mystery world entirely (and I suspect the holiday party this year will be filled to the brim with writers and well-wishers, wherever it is held) but the store was long on my must-visit list and exceeded every expectation when I finally did a few years ago. So raise a glass or two for me at the August 1 party – and for the community as a whole.
UPDATE: Clair Lamb has more information about the news and the August 1 book sale: “Even Kate’s not quite sure about everything she’s got; she has titles
in her back room, outside public view, that collectors dream about, and
it’s quite possible that some of these titles will be available for
sale at this event.”
UPDATE 2: The Boston Globe picks up the story after a telephone interview with Mattes:
Mattes said that the thing that prompted the move was the death of her
brother, a book agent, about five years ago. “He was a really big part
of the store. I could just pick up the phone and call him’’ for advice.
After he died, he left a big trove of books, and Mattes was the only
one in her family who had any idea what to do with them.
thinking about things, and decided that I couldn’t do this to my sister
and her kids,’’ she said. So she started thinking about getting things
in order. One of the first things she decided to do was to try to sell
the building. That way she could potentially reopen the store in a new
location and get a place to live separate from the store, hopefully
making it easier to dispose of her property when the time came.