Treasured Salt Lake City bookstore set to close huge downtown shop

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah -- A Salt Lake City mom and pop bookstore said it’s having to close up shop downtown. While customers are sad they’re losing a treasured community spot, it’s not the end of Eborn Books.

Dallin Case only recently discovered his now favorite bookstore in Salt Lake City.

“I had a Doctor Who moment,” he said. “You look outside, and it just looks like a puny little bookstore on Gallivan Plaza. Go inside, and it’s enormous!”

The storefront is small, but inside there’s tens of thousands of books to browse in the 30,000 square foot space.

Some customers aimless walk around, looking for what catches their eye.

Others, go straight to their section—like the Classics or Sci-Fi.

Dallin can usually be found in the back corner upstairs, looking through science fiction novels.

He picked one up off a shelf and described the plot.

“Just Latter Day Saints in a nuclear wasteland,” he said, waving the book in his hand. “Very weird but still, super cool.”

Dallin gets to discover books he might not find anywhere else. To him, it sure beats shopping online.

“It’s just not as fun finding it and being like, ‘Oh man, this is that one thing I wanted!’”

Mari Iniguez came to Eborn Thursday too find something she can get somewhere else: Jane Eyre and Moby Dick.

Still, it’s not the same as if she would have gotten those books online or at a chain store.

“I think it’s better, because it feels a little bit more homey than a Barnes and Noble would,” she said.

That’s what customers love about Eborn Books. It’s why they hate that this chapter, is ending.

After seven years in their large downtown location, owners Bret and Cindy Eborn are closing the shop at the end of June.

Bret Eborn said their landlord is renovating the building. Eborn Books, must move out.

“From what I’ve heard, the owners are trying to attract more restaurants and bars into the downtown,” Bret said.

The building will trade bookshelves for bar tops.

As with all stories, there’s a beginning and end. This one’s not ending yet. Just turning a new page.

The 31-year old book business will continue online from a Tooele warehouse for now, Bret indicated.

“We are looking for a little retail space,” Bret added. “But it won’t be anything like this.”

Like this—wandering three levels to find that special copy of a book, or unearthing a secret book “The Vault.”

It’s a literal vault that Bret opened for a customer Thursday evening, by turning the lock in the right combination.

The metal door clicked open, revealing a small room with super rare and old works.

Bret held up a memoir written and signed by Thomas S. Monson. Bret said most people don’t even know about this book—and it’s impossible to find published. He said it retails for $5,000.

For customers, a trip to Eborn is an irreplaceable experience.

“What they can’t do online is just come in and shop, and discover things they didn’t know they wanted,” Bret said.

Discovering treasures, and a tangible magic that customers will miss.

Bret said they plan to offer 50% off of books through all of June. They’ll close at the end of the month.

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