Pages Books in Brentwood Bay falls on hard times

Store has been closed for several weeks, GoFundMe started by a fan

Pages Used Books, a Brentwood Bay fixture for more than 30 years, has been shuttered and a GoFundMe page has been started to help the owner and eventually the business.

Ritch Primrose, a frequent customer who started the fundraiser, says the owner, Max, is going through personal and financial difficulties, including some health issues.

Primrose said the owner poured his life savings into trying to save the store. The store has been closed for about a month, with the owner locked out.

“I started the GoFundMe first and foremost to help the owner, because it sounded like the owner was barely making ends meet,” said Primrose.

The fundraiser has raised $2,090 of their $5,000 goal as of Tuesday, and Primrose said “the dream would be to raise enough to find a way to get the store up and running again,” but he acknowledged that is into the future.

“As stores like this close, our little communities will never get them back,” said Primrose, who says his last purchase at the bookstore was The Alchemist, a novel by Paulo Coelho.

Primrose is concerned with the dearth of bookstores in Brentwood Bay, where residents “won’t be able to buy a book or magazine unless they drive into Sidney or into town.”

Community donations have come from businesses and individuals alike. Patrons of the Brentwood Bay Village Empourium, which is next to the bookstore, have given $150 to the cause.

Primrose says he’s been in regular contact with the owner, who he said is not a fan of the spotlight, and said “they’re thrilled the community has rallied around them. They certainly didn’t ask for this at all.”

Through Primrose, the owner Max said, “I am so incredibly grateful for the support the community has shown. We are shocked really, and never expected anything like this. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”

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