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Community Bookstore
& Terrace Books
A letter from Ezra
On Feb. 18, I am retiring from Community Bookstore and Terrace Books. My business partner, Stephanie Valdez, will assume full responsibility for the business.

I am retiring because I’m old enough to do so (73), wise enough to get out while I have my wits about me, still fit enough to keep up with my hyper-active, outdoorsy wife and offspring, and, cruel as it may sound, eager to spend more time with my new grandson than with my bookstore colleagues, as much as I love them all.

And I do, very much, still love our stores and the people I work with, and hope that Stephanie will have me back to work the occasional shift, just for the pleasure of it. I am immensely proud of what Stephanie and I have accomplished in the nearly 12 years since we took over a failing business. We brought Community Bookstore out of debt and into the black, then did the same with Terrace Books a few years later. We built a national reputation for the quality of our stores and the honor we pay to books, which are much more to us than just a product that we sell.  

As much as our stores have grown and changed, there have been two constants throughout my tenure. One is our staff, aka my extended family, always thoughtful, interesting, well-read, likable, adaptive, and resourceful. 

The other is the quality of my partnership with Stephanie. Partnerships can be fraught, but one more thing I can say with pride is that we’ve been a great team. I will miss working with her.

A word of pride, too, for our customers, not just for their support through everything, from the rise of behemoth competitors to the fall of public health, but for being so darned smart and such good readers. We are known for the high quality of the books we stock but, truth be told, those are the books our customers buy. Any praise we get must be shared with them.

No doubt it will feel strange at first, but I truly look forward to making the transition to becoming one of those customers myself. Maybe I’ll even bring my housemate and fellow retiree, Tiny, the former bookstore cat, back with me for a visit.

A letter from Stephanie
When Ezra told me that he was ready to retire, I was both excited for him to spend time with his grandson and sad that our work partnership of over a decade would be over. 

I'm very proud that Ezra and I helped Community Bookstore reach its 50th year in business, a rare milestone for small businesses in this era. With the incredible support of the communities around us and the hard work of our dedicated staff, we are entering this milestone year with a stable foundation. I will carry on with the work that was begun by Susan Scioli and continued by our predecessor, Catherine Bohne. 

Ezra's great legacy will be the daily attention he paid to the store as he nursed it back to health from a particularly rough patch. His steadfast care made incremental progress snowball until it looked like overnight success. Thank you for everything, Ezra. 

From an operational standpoint, the transition has been carefully planned.

The only thing left is to celebrate both Ezra's retirement and the store's 50th anniversary. We hope we can toast to these occasions with you soon.