After 10 years as the owner of The Ivy Bookshop Darielle Linehan announced this week that she has sold the store located in Sabina-Mattfeldt.
Linehan, 70, said she decided to sell because she wanted to spend more time with her husband and grandchildren. She also believes the business could benefit from new ownership to deal with the economic and digital forces that have been changing bookselling.
“I just think the bookstore is ready for some new thinking,” said Linehan, a Ruxton resident.
According to a letter to the store’s customers, Ann and Ed Berlin will be taking over the store in early January. The couple currently lives in the New York area where Ann Berlin is a vice president in the Higher Education Division of John Wiley Publishers. Ed Berlin is originally from Baltimore and attended City College and has a law degree from the University of Maryland, according to the letter.
Linehan opened the store in 2001 in the wake of Bibelot filing for bankruptcy. She said the closing offered an opening for an independent bookstore in the area. Linehan previously owned a bookstore in Naples, FL, with her sister for six years.
She said during that time there have been large shifts in the way bookstores operate, especially with the rise of Amazon, and now the arrival of digital books for devices such as the Kindle.
But despite all of the upheaval in the book business she said a store such as The Ivy provides something that can’t be found when shopping online. That’s the recommendation from an employee who you know and trust as opposed to an anonymous review posted on a website.
“We see more thoughtful readers. Readers who want personal recommendations from folks they know,” she said.
When she says goodbye to the store Linehan said she would miss the camaraderie with the staff and customers. She’ll also said she’ll miss the stimulation of learning about new books.
“The book world is so special. It’s like going to school everyday,” Linehan said.
Part of the reason she said she has enjoyed running the store so much during the past decade is because of the challenge her customers present. She said most of her customers are very educated, and that it was a challenge trying to provide books they found interesting, or that they hadn’t already read.
“We have the most wonderful customers; very, very sweet and loving and loyal,” Linehan said.