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Bookstore in Williamsburg closing after more than 40 years

The owner of Mermaid Books said the shop would close after a rough year caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

WILLIAMSBURG, Va. — When you walk down the stairs into the nook that is Mermaid Books, you find yourself in a book lovers wonderland. However, the pandemic has cut the story short for this store and left uncertainty in the future.

Mermaid Books has been around Williamsburg for more than 40 years. When the owner wanted to sell it 11 years ago, that's when Hatley Mason bought it to keep its legacy going.

"I just was like, 'you cannot close this bookstore. It is so important,'" said Mason.

Mason is a former print journalist and said the power of storytelling is something he lives by every day. 

Books are piled high in the store, filled with adventures of science fiction and tales of love, but this owner's story is one so many in this pandemic have already read for themselves. Mermaid Books is closing again after a tough year with the pandemic.

"This business is face-to-face, person to person," said Mason. "I just want everyone to feel safe."

Mason said he is unsure whether he'll open back up or ever be able to, but says he's accepting whatever the future brings him.

"The only thing certain is uncertainty really...so you have to trust that everything is going to be okay," said Mason.

Mermaid Books closes on Monday, November 30. Mason said he doesn't know what he's going to do next, but stated that it's overall a bittersweet time to say goodbye to his books for now.