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Pleasantville Village Bookstore Stays Local

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. - Roy Solomon and his wife Yvonne vanCort bought the 39-year-old Village Bookstore in 2003 without knowing anything about retail or how to sell books.

They just knew they loved the store.

“Yvonne said to me, the bookstore is for sale and you’re retired, what else do you have to do?” said Solomon, who had retired from the his family’s specialty print and finishing business, Reliable Press Incorporated. “I said to her, who the hell would want to do seven days a week in retail?”

It took some convincing from his friend Ted Buerger to get him to take a look at the bookstore. He then spent time with the former bookstore owner Carol Greenman and had a change of heart.

“I was really surprised how much I enjoyed it,” Solomon said. “I bought it trying to prove to myself and the next buyer that you can run an independent bookstore these days with Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Borders out there.”

The Village Bookstore is battling the big bookstore chains, the online market and e-books available on Kindles, Nooks and iPads.

“E-books have made a definite effect on sales since last holiday season,” Solomon said. “I’m worried about how the next few years will all sort out.”

Local bookstores aren’t alone in worrying about the impact of electronic reading materials. Book publishing companies are also concerned and are trying to avoid the same problem the music industry faced, losing income due to inexpensive electronic alternatives.

Solomon majored in English as an undergraduate and graduate and later taught English at the City University of New York in Brooklyn.

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