Add another name to the growing list of book-related retailers that have filed for bankruptcy. Late last month Store of Knowledge Inc. and SOK Operations Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California. The chain of 91 multimedia stores specializing in educational toys, games and books was started in California in 1994 and has marketing affiliations with public broadcasting stations throughout the country, including KCET in California, WNET in New York and WETA in Washington, D.C. Store of Knowledge paid the start-up and operating expenses for the retail operations; the stations contributed their names and received royalties and equity incentives.

As of April 1, Store of Knowledge closed 21 stores, as well as its Web operations at Industry insiders anticipate that the remaining 70 stores will be liquidated over the next few months. The staff at Store of Knowledge's offices has been severely reduced, with many dismissals taking effect last Friday.

After a difficult Christmas, the troubled company had hoped to stay afloat by purchasing Natural Wonders, which would have given it a critical mass of 200 mall stores. When creditors for Natural Wonders, which is itself in bankruptcy, rejected the offer in March, Store of Knowledge ran out of options.