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Farewell, Tudor Book Shop

The Tudor Book Shop & Cafe in Kingston turns its very last page and says goodbye to the community after 31 years.

Although the closing date is not definite, owner Lynn Gonchar is sad to leave Kingston subsequent to the Clarks Summit shop closing two years ago.

“If I could have it another way, I wouldn’t leave at this point in my life,” said Gonchar. “After the first closing in Clarks Summit we hoped we would be OK because we finally started to hold onto our own, but with the past year and new local competition such as Barnes and Noble and Amazon.com, it has been very difficult.

“I realize the opening of the downtown Barnes and Noble was a good idea, but it wasn’t so good for my business.”

Even with the closing news, the shop and café are still lively, according to Gonchar.

All of the scheduled events for the months of January, February and March are still taking place, including the TLC author events with Kate Morgenroth on Jan. 29 and Anne Easter Smith on Feb. 21. The local author events with Peter Tomasak and Elena Castrignano on Jan. 25 and 26 will also occur.

Since Gonchar is looking to sell everything in the shop before closing, she believes the shop will officially close its doors sometime in March.

Tudor will continue to service the community by offering a 20-percent discount off of everything in the shop, including the fixtures, tables and chairs. Preferred readers will receive a 30-percent discount, and those with gift cards will receive 25 percent off. The shop will also continue to order books, without a markdown, however.

“We are hoping to increase reductions even further after Jan. 31, so those who want to receive a greater discount should wait,” said Gonchar.

Those who ordered imprinted invitations will also be given their merchandise. Gonchar is optimistic to have a trustworthy individual take over the invitation side of the business for the future.

Although the shop is still active, Gonchar is feeling a lot of mixed emotions.

“Thus far it has been very upsetting with all the phone calls and emails explaining concerns about the closing, but at the same time, it helps in a way — to know you worked hard and people actually recognized it,” said Gonchar. “It has been a great experience bringing people to books.”

Keeping the shops memory alive is important to Gonchar, and she is now thankful for creating a Tudor scrapbook beginning in 1987, which she can keep and look back to when she pleases.

The shop was first opened in 1976 by Gonchar’s sister Barbara Shaffer with a mere 140 square feet. Gonchar became involved with the shop four years later, and since then the shop has expanded, adding on a café in 1995.

“We have had wonderful times with incredible people,” explained Gonchar. “I have loved talking about books and meeting great authors like Tasha Tudor. It has been a real high to give book recommendations to my customers, which is what places like Amazon are lacking in; it isn’t as personable as what we do here.

“We have done so many different things here like author fests, fundraisers and school events. These are the things I will miss.”

As this book comes to an end for Gonchar, she will take with her wonderful memories.

“It was so rewarding to know you were going to make someone’s evening better,” she said. “Sure, there were things that didn’t go right, but with the closing you quickly forget about them. If you do something, like I have worked at the Tudor, and keep doing it while loving it, it is something absolutely rewarding.”


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