Bon soir, sweet Bibelot

As customers visit a closing book store, they put into words their tears, their regrets and a few admonitions.

March 25, 2001|By Rob Hiaasen | Rob Hiaasen,SUN STAFF

There is nothing dignified about a 90-day liquidation sale. Shelves get picked clean, irate customers want gift certificates honored, boxes make a mess of themselves, black t-shirted employees look downhearted - even Donna's coffee doesn't seem to taste the same. No, there's nothing dignified or poetic about Bibelot bookstores' going out of business, whatever the cause of its troubles.

Still, one must try to make the best of it. At the disappearing Bibelot in Timonium, a dash of black humor was on display. On the table by the entrance, the staff spread out such timely books as "The Last Days of the Titanic." The staff also has put out a black journal next to a simple sign: "Say Goodbye to Bibelot. Leave us a message."

Many customers are leaving messages and, as always, the customer is always right:

"I will miss getting lost in thought among the shelves." - S.B.

"Bibelot was good. It was great. It so totally reeked of Bibelocity." - Eric

"Loved it here, and I bought here. My sadness is deep." - Libby

"You were overpriced anyway."

"I'm just sick over the closing of this wonderful store - an oasis of culture in the howling desert that is Baltimore." - Kathy

"Bibelot was my sacred place. Ah! To open a new book and read it on a comfortable cotton upholstered chair in a quiet corner. Heaven on earth!" - Gracie

"Oh well! Another case of mismanagement and greed."

"Too bad! Books rock!"

"I can't believe it!! Did computers have something to do with it???" - Cynthia

"Let's form a human chain around the store to keep it from closing." - Lori

"Goodbye. I had my first date here (kind of). Our wedding is next year!"

"You grew too fast and tried to be and do too much. You are not alone - and many others will follow. Learn, be cautious and try again."

"A sad comment on our lifestyles. I'm sorry for all the books I ordered from Amazon.com.""$25 million offshore?"

"My lover used to work here. It's a beautiful place."

"My favorite place on Sunday. So sad to see you go."

"It was fun to visit but the free enterprise system prevails. Tough luck."

"Thanks for taking an interest in cross stitching magazines."

"I love you." - Katie

"Good night, Sweet Prince."

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