"We will simply disappear": Coliseum Books closing again

The embattled Coliseum Books is set to close its doors for the second time in five years, and a co-owner of the independent bookseller says this exit is expected to be permanent.

"I believe we will simply disappear," founder George Leibson said Monday of the bookstore, which has served the city for about 30 years. "The book business has changed a great deal."

The famed store closed its doors at the corner of 57th Street and Broadway in 2002, some 28 years after opening. After it reopened 15 blocks to the south in 2003, the aisles filled with browsers but sales were disappointing, and Coliseum filed for bankruptcy last week, Leibson said.

"People's spending habits have changed," Leibson said. "They can pick up their books at the Costco or the discount chain in the suburbs where they live."

"How could we ever compete with Amazon.com?" he asked.

The store, which prided itself as one of the city's most populist independent bookstores, was once referred to on the Web site Citysearch as "the Cheers of bookstores (minus the beer)." Its sales began to fall off in 1994.

The store will shutter its doors on West 42nd Street by the end of the year, Leibson said, reports AP.

"It would be nice to think we could stay open until Christmas, but we can't," he said.