This seems like a bad sign: Powell’s bookstore announced that it would be laying off 31 employees on Tuesday due to “the economy, decline of book sales and rising health care costs.” There will certainly be more news from the book world on this, but you can read a preliminary article here.
I’m troubled to here that Powell’s is going through a difficult time–I’ve never even been to the actual store and still love it (great online selection! weekly book reviews curated by the National Book Critics Circle!). But the majority of my sympathies are with the employees who were laid off. Besides the obvious horror of loosing one’s job, there’s also the stress of the pre-announcement that Powell’s made: apparently an email memo announcing that there would be substantial lay-offs later in the day was circulated on Tuesday morning.