Upon learning their favorite local bookstore, BookHampton, would be closing after the holidays, hundreds of locals shared feelings of devastation and loss before shrugging wistfully and continuing to shop on Amazon.com, where they’ve been buying books exclusively for the last 10 years.
Sentiments such as “So sad!” and “NO!” along with a flurry of sad face emoticons were repeated dozens of times via social media on October 20 as East Enders coped with news of the venerable bookseller’s pending closure. “This is a sad day for the community,” one commenter said while others added posts like, “The end of an era” and “What is happening to the Hamptons?”
These same people were just as distraught when BookHampton shuttered its Sag Harbor location back in March 2013, and they vocalized their outrage before taking advantage of Amazon.com’s 40% off sale on the hottest new hardcovers that month.
North Forkers were equally upset when BookHampton closed its Mattituck location last October. Three months earlier, in May of 2014, many area book lovers even considered dropping by the shop after owner Charline Spektor asked in a mass email that all sympathetic locals buy one book to help keep her three remaining stores open. But it was much easier to download books on Audible or buy from Amazon.com, especially with the free Prime shipping option.
Now, as BookHampton enters its final holiday season after some 45 years in business, the community is faced with the opportunity to shop there for gifts and a few final purchases that would send the store away gracefully.
If only Amazon.com didn’t have such great holiday discounts.