“I’m older. I don’t need stuff. I have a house. I just need to pay my bills. This pays my bills. The other two who work for me are retired. We don’t want for much.”
Schneider said she finds it ironic that the bookstore may be losing its home at the same time Newburyport is making a push to have its downtown designated by the state as a cultural district built on its celebration of all facets of the arts.
Being based in Newburyport is a large part of why the used bookstore has been able to weather the digital age, Schneider said. It has won support from locals and visitors alike, who have sought it out and often make a point of returning to both buy and sell books. The store’s previous owner had tried to open an offshoot in Amesbury, but it never caught on, she said.
While Schneider remains hopeful a solution will be found, the uncertainty for the future isn’t sitting well with Middle Street Bookstore’s loyal customer base.
“They’re disappointed,” Schneider said. “The word I most hear is, ‘I’m distraught.’”