After years of struggles, Truckee’s last book store to close for good |

After years of struggles, Truckee’s last book store to close for good

The Bookshelf will remain open for only a few more days.
Amanda Rhoades / Sierra Sun |

Visit the store

You can visit the Bookshelf this week before it closes its doors, at 11429 Donner Pass Road #2 in Truckee. The store is open from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and can be reached by phone at 530-582-0515. Visit to learn more.

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The multi-year effort to save Truckee’s last bookstore is over.

It’s no secret the locally owned and operated store, the Bookshelf, has been struggling to survive in the age of online shopping, e-readers, tablets and smartphones. But this month, the owner is finally calling it quits.

“The last economic downtown was pretty difficult, but people are actually coming back to bookstores, the numbers are starting to get better, and it’s like too late — I’m already done,” store owner Deborah Lane said in an interview at the store on Friday.

Many of the shelves inside the Bookshelf’s last location were already being emptied out Friday as Lane shuffled through old posters from events the shop had hosted over the years.

“We opened in June of ‘92, so we’re not going to quite make 25 years,” she said. “But I don’t want to talk about that because I might cry.”

Lane said the Bookshelf also had locations in Tahoe City and Quincy, but the Tahoe City location closed in 2012, and the Quincy store was sold before that.

And though there was an effort to sell the Truckee business last year, no deal was made.

While a separate business owner does plan to open a bookstore in downtown Truckee, the venture is unrelated to the Bookshelf.

“We were in negotiations, but they’re not buying the bookstore because they’re doing their own thing downtown,” Lane said.

She recalled various community efforts to keep the store in business over the past years and month, and said she was grateful for all the support over the years.

“That was one reason I stayed open last year,” she said.

Lane said she had considered closing the store last April, but decided to stay open through the summer. Then, she thought the store might sell because there were several interested parties, but things fell through.

“It kept us going, but the time comes when you have to make a choice,” she said. “And since we didn’t sell, it was time to retire and do other things and not have the stress of running my own business.”

But even though Lane said she’s “not a spring chicken anymore,” and is looking forward to retirement, she confessed that what she’ll miss the most is the people.

“That’s what it’s all about — recommending books and having people love the books,” she said. “It’s all about the interaction, making a connection, helping people find books they might not otherwise find, because they’re not exposed to it.

“When you go onto Amazon, they give you a list based on what you’re reading, they give you recommendations, but you’re not going to find a brand new thing there necessarily, or a category you might not have thought about.”

Lane said the Bookshelf will remain open roughly through mid-January, depending on how much inventory sells.

Until that happens, books, posters and even bookshelves are being sold at reduced prices.

She added, “if there’s someone out there who wants to do a used books program, because the new store isn’t going to have one, we could transfer everything over.”

Amanda Rhoades is a news, environment and business reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at, 530-550-2653 or @akrhoades.

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