After more than a decade of celebrating the magic of stories, The Spiral Bookcase will close its brick & mortar location on December 21, 2023—the Winter Solstice. Please know we are only saying goodbye for now. The essence of Spiral will endure, as all the best tales do.
When I purchased Spiral in early 2020 after serving as its shop manager (and assistant bookseller before that), I never imagined doing anything else with my life. The community around Spiral is fierce, dedicated and magical. We have never lacked support.
But then, of course, the pandemic changed everything. I think I’ve done a good job of navigating the past three and a half years, but I have little idea of how to return to truly embodying the ethos of an indie bookshop with offerings like in-store readings, release parties, lectures and workshops. As a disabled person, it’s extremely important to me that I keep *everyone* safe—and right now, I can’t do much beyond offering a (relatively) safe place to shop.
I want to be clear: this is not a matter of finances. This is a matter of being unable to solve existential questions the shop faces. To that end, please do not suggest or initiate fundraising campaigns for Spiral. Save your money for the uncertain future, engage in mutual aid with a reparative lens, shop at queer, disabled and BIPOC-owned small businesses, and fill the community fridge.
I know Spiral is more than a retail store for so many of you, and I have spent countless hours grieving the fact I’m taking a little haven away from my own community. But I can’t make Spiral into what it needs to be at this juncture in time. I don’t want to be so desperate to keep Spiral going that it becomes a stranger to all of us. I would rather part ways like this: to have another glorious autumn together, and to say goodbye for now on the darkest day of the year, when there is only more light to come.
I can’t promise you when Spiral will return or what it will look like. My body needs rest after the strain of these past few years, and Spiral needs to lie fallow. I want to dream about what an independent bookstore can truly be without the confines of capitalism, consumerism and gentrification. How can we share stories, build communities, and support authors while also divesting from the big publishing houses that bring in billions of dollars of revenue, but are somehow also unable to provide most writers with a full-time wage? I don’t know, but I like to imagine it’s possible.
To stay in touch, please continue following this page and/or sign up for our newsletter. This account and our website aren’t going anywhere, and you’ll find details about our re-emergence here. The Selkie Book Club will continue; more information to follow. In the coming days, I’ll lay out the details of the physical shop’s closure, and work to answer any of your questions. But in the meantime, I encourage you to use your trade credit and spend that gift card! :)
Thank you for some of the best years of my life. Thank you for letting me yell at you about books. Thank you for trusting me with this decision, and for keeping Spiral in your hearts until the day comes for rebirth.