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Horizon Books to close in 2020 | Local News

TRAVERSE CITY — A beloved downtown retailer is writing its last chapter.

After 58 years of bookselling, Horizon Books is closing its doors.

“For all that time we’ve tried to do one thing,” said Amy Reynolds, who owns the store with her husband, Vic Herman. “And that’s be the best bookstore we could possibly be. This was a very hard decision, but it’s time.”

Horizon Books was founded in 1961, and over the years the company has operated bookstores in Traverse City, Petoskey, Beulah and Cadillac. The Beulah store closed in the 1980s, the Petoskey store closed in 2017 and for the time being, the Cadillac store will remain open, Reynolds said.

But the flagship store has been on Front Street for most of those five decades, first in a narrow space near the old Empire Bank, and then in the current 22,000 square-foot, three-level location which took over the once-vacant J.C. Penney’s department store building in 1993.

Academics and remedial readers, school kids and retirees, political candidates and marchers with Veterans for Peace, everyone was welcome.

“The bookstore was founded on not making judgments on what you read and we strive to have in stock what people want,” Reynolds said. “Every four years we’re accused of either being too liberal or being too conservative but if you look on the front tables and count the books, you’re going to see we’re pretty even.”

New York Times bestselling authors are often shelved next to books by local writers; the click of mahjongg tiles and the keys of a community piano harmonize in the lower level; and one table might host a book club, another a chess club, and a third, if it’s Thursday morning at 7:15, the local chapter of Toastmasters.

The internationally popular pop trio, The Accidentals, played their first gig here. So did Billy Strings, who

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