Texoma author, Julie Coley, said she is feeling sad and surprised Texas-based Hastings Entertainment asked her to pull her books off the shelf at the Wichita Falls location.
“Well, it was unique because as a local author I could display my books in there and have them for sale and sell them well. I mean they had a great local author section,” Coley said.
Last month, the company announced it is filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and that company leaders are evaluating potential buyers.
In an online statement, they said among other things: all gift cards will expire on July 13, the buyback program is suspended and game rentals are no longer available.
Many are concerned about the future of their entertainment headquarters.
“You know, there’s nowhere around here that has anything like this,” Keri Petersen, a patron, said. “I am an animae connoisseur and there’s no where in town that sells that unless I go online. And not that there’s a problem doing that, but it’s the idea of convenience. It’s here.”
“Sad. It’s where I come with my friends to just relax, get some coffee, look at books. Kinda got everything so it’s a good place just to come and socialize,” patron Greyson Fitzwater.
“Very surprised,” Coley said. “I had been in there Tuesday — to pick up some money because I was kind of afraid not to — and then they called me yesterday morning and said they got an email yesterday morning that all consignment had to be out of the store.”
And, Coley believes this could be a sign of the end of an era.
“You know, it does hurt me to see that book stores might not be making it in the future. Everything is going to go digital and I don’t like that. I think people need to hold a book and put it on their book shelf and have a book collection,” Coley said.
Hastings officials have not confirmed whether or not they will close the doors here locally. They say they hope to find a buyer by mid-July.
Coley’s books are also offered at Picker’s Universe and Heritage Antiques in downtown Wichita Falls.