When Rose Joseph, co-owner of Magic Tree Bookstore on Oak Park Avenue, goes on vacation or travels to a city she's never been, she always looks to see if there is a bookstore.
She says that more and more these days the public library or websites are the only places in many cities to find a good old-fashioned book. She hears the same thing from customers who come into her store.
"We have a lot of visitors who come in, especially in the summer, and say it's sad they don't have a bookstore," she said.
Joseph and her longtime partner Iris Yipp are working to sell their shop, located at 141 N. Oak Park Ave. Magic Tree carries children's, young adult and select adult titles.
"I hate to think we'd have to close; Oak Park without another bookstore would be unfortunate," she said, if they can't find a new owner.
Joseph said she and Yipp put the store on the market a couple of weeks ago and already have interest from a prospective buyer. She and Yipp are selling the 1,600-square-foot store because they're both planning to retire.
"I'm at the age where I really do want to spend time traveling and with my grandchildren," she said.
Joseph said she and Yipp are waiting to see what kind of response they get on the sale of the store. They're hoping to find a new owner by the end of the year, "but we're not making it a hard and fast deadline."
"There is a niche aspect to a small independent bookstore that makes a community unique, and you want to keep that," she said. "We love the book business, and we don't make huge amounts of money on it, but we are profitable and we run a pretty good, tight ship, so I think people should know that."
The bookstore was recently awarded a $6,500 grant from young adult author James Patterson, who committed to give $1 million of his own money to independent bookstores.