Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Cody's Owner Writes Letter of Apology

Wed, Jun 25, 2008 at 9:51 AM

The final owner of Cody's Books, Hiroshi Kagawa, sent a letter to the store's original co-owner, Pat Cody, on the store's final day, June 20. It was mainly a letter of apology, as a copy received by the Express reveals:

"Dear Pat,

"Today I apologize to you. I could not protect Cody's. ... I have done my best and spent millions, but I am unable to keep this landmark independent bookstore open." After describing how he had loved the store for decades as a journalist, he recounts:

"In the spring of 2005, I was introduced to [then-owner] Andy Ross and ... learned of the financial crisis facing Cody's. At the time, I ran more than ten bookstores and an English book distributor in Japan, so I immediately considered how to help Cody's. When I received control of Cody's from Andy, I was excited to save this store from bankruptcy. ...

"Unfortunately, a short time after purchasing Cody's from Andy, my Japanese operation was taken over by an investment bank. ... The bankers drove me from my company and attempted to terminate Cody's," which they deemed unprofitable. Kagawa "tried to take care of Cody's" by severing his ties with the bankers. "But my new operation is not strong enough or rich enough to support Cody's. Above all we have been suffering from low sales after opening our new store. ...

"I still have a strong desire to see a miracle. I still hope we can fight back" even now, after the doors have closed: "I still feel that we need Cody's as the symbol of the fighting spirit."—Anneli Rufus

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