WHAT started as a rumour has now become true and Ron Robertson has decided to shut shop – Ron’s Book Shop – at the end of April.
He started in the book industry in 1998 and, in more recent years (since 2004), has been selling secondhand books in Hawker, where he will stay for another month.
The 72-year-old says it wasn’t part of his plan but when a real estate agent, on behalf of the building owner, put the space on the market and plonked a large “for sale” sign on his window he was forced to create a new plan.
“Everybody who saw the sign assumed I’d sold up,” he says.
“One lady even asked me how retirement was going and business dropped by almost 60 per cent immediately.”
The shop has been more of a community thing for Ron, who says he hasn’t paid himself a wage in years, so when business dropped off he knew it was time to go.
But before he leaves the space in Hawker, Ron still needs to get rid of thousands of books, which will all be 40 per cent off until closure.
“It’s really sad because I’ve made so many friends here,” he says.
“People come by and we have a bit of a chat. If they spend a certain amount of money I pass them a home-grown cucumber or something from my garden in Charnwood.”
Even though he’s sad to close this chapter of his life, Ron is looking forward to the extra time for gardening and walking.
And, he says he’s looking forward to no more overheads.
He’s hoping to get a website built soon so he can keep selling books from home, but until then he says he’ll continue to sell secondhand books on Facebook and through abebooks.com