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'The end of one page of my life': owner of Nerman's Books closing up shop


Shelves once filled with floor-to-ceiling books now sit empty as the owner of a beloved bookstore in South Osborne prepares to turn the page and start a new chapter in his life.

It's the end of an era for Gary Nerman, who has been running Nerman's Books and Collectibles on Osborne Street for about three decades.

"It was time to sell the store and retire," Nerman told CTV News. "It is the end of one page of my life. I feel quite good about moving on to something new."

Nerman's bookstore started as a hobby when he began with mail-order books out of his basement in the late 1980s. In the years since, his shop has grown into one of the largest used bookstores in the area and a staple in the community.

CTV News previously reported in December 2022 that Nerman would be closing his store and selling off his books. He said since that news, there has been a big response in the community.

"It has been really unbelievable and quite gratifying. We've had literally hundreds of people come down and tell us their stories about the bookstore," he said. "One couple actually had their first date here and they are now married, if you can believe that."

The store officially closed last weekend, but Nerman said he was still left with stacks upon stacks of books and magazines.

"I know that if I keep the books, I'm just going to put them in my garage and they are going to get mouldy and turn into garbage. So I decided to give the books away," he said.

So, this Thursday and Friday, Nerman said anyone who wants to stop by the store will get free books.

"They can take one book, they can take hundreds of books."

He said there are still about 15,000 to 20,000 books and magazines left at the store.

The items available include some treasures he hasn't seen in nearly 20 years, like a box of Beatles magazines he bought in the 90s that a customer rediscovered in the store.

While Nerman is retiring, he said he may still deal in comic books and antiques – something he has been doing his whole life.

"Really, I'm quite happy about it. I'm happy that it went well and I'm looking forward to the future."

-with files from CTV's Kayla Rosen Top Stories

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