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Book Revue owner pens final farewell to Huntington community

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Around 44 years ago, Book Revue opened its doors for the first time in Huntington.

Quickly it became the island’s largest independent bookstore, with its wide selection of books and drawing in big-name authors for book-signing events.

Last week, the book shop closed for good on 313 New York Ave. Owner Robert Klein confirmed the pandemic hit the bookstore hard and he was evicted by his landlord after not being able to pay rent on time.

Klein took to Facebook to say one more final goodbye. Read it below.

Hello everyone. I am writing today to say thank you to all those who have been customers of Book Revue over the years. I am not going to take a trip down memory lane because there is far too much to recount. I was going to thank people who had worked here at Book Revue but again, there are far too many people to even attempt such a thing.

In the past several weeks since we announced our closing, I have been contacted by dozens of former employees who wanted to express their feelings about the store and how much they loved working here. Hundreds of customers have thanked me and staff members for what we built here and for the memories they will cherish.

Book Revue has always been more than just a place to buy a book. It has always been a place to meet people, to socialize, to hang out, to spend time. That’s what my brother Bob and I intended from the beginning, in 1977. We didn’t have any ideas about the signings and events for which we became widely recognized. That came later.

I wrote that it is beyond the scope of this letter to thank the many individuals who helped Bobby and I build this store. I am going to make one important exception. I met my wife of 41 years, Julie, in the sociology section. A year later we were married. Book Revue would not have grown into what it became without Julie’s help. She designed and was the book buyer for the children’s department which was the cornerstone of the store. Her impeccable taste showed in the strength of our sideline sales, which Julie also bought. She was our office manager, head bookkeeper and IT department. There was nothing we could ask of Julie that she wouldn’t do and do exceptionally well. A proper accounting of all she has done for the store would take several paragraphs. She was our right hand for over 40 years. I can’t begin to thank her enough and I know Bobby feels the same. Thank you sweetheart.

In the simple but deceptively profound words of Herbert Stein, “If a thing can’t go on forever it will eventually stop.” We have reached our stopping point. Thank you again to all our wonderful customers and to our many former staff members. Let us cherish the memories.

— Richard Klein

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Top: Photo from Book Revue’s Facebook page.