Sunday, November 02, 2014

Leo's Book and Wine -- In Cold Type

I bought a copy of the book "In Cold Type" by Leonard Shatzkin. The book was published in the early 1980's. The sub-title of the book is "Overcoming the Book Crisis." For those that do not know crises in the book industry did not start with

When the book arrived the first thing I noticed was the sticker on the front that at one time it had been sold at "Leo's Book and Wine Shop".

I knew nothing about Leo's but I found it interesting that a book about the publishing industry would be sold by a wine shop. I did some searching online and found that Leo's was a bookstore in Toledo, Ohio and was open from 1967 - 2009.

I found a 2009 article - Leo's writes final chapter for family's bookstore - that discusses the closing of the bookstore. The founder's son Daryl had taken over the business for his father. In the article he does attribute the current problems with the store to the changes in the publishing industry and online book sales but he also mentions another significant issue PARKING.

Excerpt from the article - Mr. Yourist said aggressive parking meter enforcement also contributed because it lessened customer traffic. He had a parking ticket on his desk that he said he would pay for his attorney, and lamented that the only way small businesses could survive in the area is to have their own parking lots.

“When people get a $10 parking ticket because they've stayed longer than an hour, they're not going to come here to shop,” he said. “And until something is done about that, there won't be any retail downtown for a long time.”

A picture of the closed Leo's store with a FOR SALE sign in the window. (Note the parking meter - please read the full article because I readily concede that the parking was only a piece of multiple things that impacted this business)

Leo Yourist, the store's founder, passed in 2011. Nice article with some details of his life and store can be seen here - Leo Yourist, 1920-2011: Bookstore owner a downtown fixture

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh wow. I worked at Leo's in the late '80s, for Leo and his wife Lily and their son Daryl, who tried his hardest to keep it going while downtown died around them. I used to know what ALL the numeric codes on that sticker meant, but have now forgotten.
Leo's was a pretty legendary bookstore and magazine store, and we had a fantastic buyer; for a small shop, you could find some pretty wondrous titles. The wine side of the business was mainly a couple of dusty bottles of creme de menthe on a back shelf.