Stereo Stokey says a sad farewell to Ocean Books on Church Street who, after trading for fifteen years, closed their doors for the last time on Sunday.

There is something special about bookshops in general and especially second-hand ones. It was easy to spend an hour or two browsing the great selection of second-hand books in Ocean. It is like diving into a treasure trove, you never knew what you might find… from the latest summer bonk-buster to a rare out of print poetry book by Leonard Cohen.

You would have thought that a second hand bookshop would thrive, especially in a recession era. But it wasn’t to be. The reason for its demise? Exorbitant rent increases. Another sign, as if we need any, of the gentrification of Stokey.

It was the last of the old school shops that helped to give Church Street its character when I first arrived over eleven years ago. Long gone are Totem Records, Encore and more recently, the Vortex. Their memories will live on in the minds of long-toothed residents and those posters of the Church Street shop fronts that you see from time to time in Early Bird.