Book store closing

Hard to say if people these days just love Internet shopping more, or God less.
Shawn Foucher
May 19, 2013


Whatever the balance, it comes down to one thing for the longtime owner of a Christian bookstore at a well-traveled intersection in Groton Township. 

Financial apocalypse.  

A Christian radio station was whispering in the background at J&R Gospel Gift Shop on a recent weekday when Phyllis Berger pondered the state of things.

It's graduation season. Ten years ago, this little Bible bookstore at Hayes Avenue and Mason Road would have been going gangbusters this time of year. 

"We couldn't even keep Bibles on the shelf," Berger said. "This year, we sold three." 

The afternoon was interrupted by just two customers: Marcia Rotsinger, who dropped by with her granddaughter to pick up Mother's Day bulletins for Sunday services at Emmanuel United Church of Christ, and Stephanie Eisenhauer, who stopped to buy a book. 

"When she hears about a good book, she stops in," Berger said of her longtime friend, Eisenhauer. "That's quite often." 

Find out how the former "Seven Mile House" became a book store. Get today's Register. Click here for the ePaper, for home delivery or buy the Register daily at a newsstand near you. 

Want to go? 

What: J&R Gospel going-out-of-business sale 
When: Up until June 29 
Where: Corner of Mason Road and Hayes Avenue 
More: All items marked down, progressively cheaper as closing day nears.   



I am sorry to hear of this store closing. I used to do quite a bit of shopping there. Now that my children are grown, I don't stop in often. This was a great place to buy Christian based books and projects for children. If they didn't have it, they could get it.

Sharin' Johnson

It would appear God is now dead based upon the closure of this single commercial venture. Things were one way, but now they are another.

Anyhow, maybe they can turn that place into a truck stop to rival Strawberry Hill (shouldn't be too tough), or maybe a Harney's South, or better yet, a drive thru abortion parlor.

I love Hayes Avenue!

Isn't Berger a non-Christian name? Jesus don't take kindly to that sort of thing.

Sharin' Johnson

I find it hard to believe people went in there in 2003 either.


I never knew that place was even in business


Maybe the decline can have a sociological explanation. It hasn't happened in a vacuum.

Freeze_Frame's picture

No offense, but a little work on the storefront goes a long way! This picture of the front of the store looks so dismal: a little paint, flowers, and elbow grease might have helped ;) Just saying...


^^ agree I drive by all the time it never looked like it was in business


This bookstore didn't notice Borders or Barnes and Nobles closing all over the place? Consumers that love God still love him since digital Bible sales are growing. It's pretty easy to say what people like doing more...Internet shopping.


Location Location Location

2cents's picture

Yep! The store in North Olmstead is always busy. They do a good business but the shoplifting rate is very high? Who would figure....

Sharin' Johnson

The Bible says shoplifting is aloud! For Jebus!


Back in the 30' 40's that same building used to be a tavern back in my grandpa's day.. with rooms for hooking up, My grandma tracked him down there one night and caught him.. er, um red handed.

Ironic, huh?


Called the 7 Mile House


I love that little bookstore. The lady who owns it is a real lady. She has done the best she could since her husband passed away several years ago. The biggest problem there was lack of parking.

Kottage Kat

Lots of Grandma's caught em
Ernie Windnagle used to bartenders I think

indolent indiff...

survival of the fittest seems to apply here in a couple ways

Matt Easterhold

religion is business

The Bizness

Place looked like a dump

terrible location

fewer people are religious

books are digital


I agree. Many people either don't read or they're reading on Kindles or what have you. The Bible doesn't have all the answers and many people already have one if they're into that sort of thing. Bookstores are closing all over. I love books but I can get them online without the pressure to join a rewards club or buy more books. Or I can check them out at the library, read them and not buy at all.

xdefiance's picture

The books should be free.


It's sad especially in these times that this bookstore - that I can remember going into for as long as I can remember, and I think I got one of my first Bibles at and I know that my parents got the Bible that I received for graduation from high school at - is closing. I know that there are still stores such as BAM available and I think there's that Holy Family bookstore (or I think that's what it's called) but this one had longevity behind it and as I said it's just sad to see it go. I think I'll be going in and placing an order for my family's traditional graduation gifts to have on hand since they apparently won't be around when the kids finally do graduate high school.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

Sorry to see a small business go. It is really tough, especially as a specialty store, to survive. It takes a lot more time and effort than many believe as you have to stay up on industry info, social trends, local culture, etc.


It was a good and thriving business before the internet happened, HZ. Alas, the older folk had no way to keep up with the strides that the tech has made. That place, unlike what is being said on this comment section was always kept up and had the nicest people you could ever meet inside. And I don't even consider myself a Christian.

They had top of the line product in their field.

The Bizness

I drive past it many times a week. To say it is kept up is a bit of a stretch. It looks like a house you could go by some meth from if you didn't see the signs.

Sharin' Johnson

Luvbooze2, I can't tell if your serious or trolling again?

Did you drive by there and see the broken charcoal grill on the flop house stoop? The extra long grass?

If they the top o they field, the field a swamp homey...


Sharin - you can't just the business by what's owned by the people that live in the apartments above and behind the store. The lady that runs the store does her best to keep up her portion of the building but she can only do so much. All you're doing is acting like a bully.