Almost exactly 19 years after it opened, Bennett Books in Wyckoff, N.J., will close its doors. All stock is currently marked down 30%. The last day for the 5,000-sq.-ft. independent will be on or before September 30, when its lease ends.

“It’s not any one thing,” co-owner John Bennett said of the decision to close. “It’s a combination of factors. Rents were going up, and sales were lackluster.” In a letter to customers posted on the store’s Web site (, Bennett also discussed the difficulty of competing with free information on the Internet that used to be found in books. “Examples of this,” he writes, “include going online for recipes instead of purchasing cookbooks—information on everything from travel to what to name the baby to diagnosing ailments to how to choose a puppy can be found online.”

For now, Bennett and his wife, Betty, are working on closing the store, which stocked 35,000 titles and specialized in children’s books and literary fiction. Bennett said that after the store is shut, he may return to his former profession as an attorney. Betty Bennett would like to stay in the book business.