Lame Duck Books, a mainstay of Cambridge, Massachusetts' Harvard Square, will close its doors on September 25, 2010.
John W. Wronoski, who opened Lame Duck originally in Philadelphia in 1984, told the Harvard Crimson that the business was "hemorrhaging" money, "destroyed" by online competition.
"Nowadays people like myself who've devoted...50 years to this world have no means of competing again," he said.
"It was a way of earning an income without actually doing something that I considered odious, like work," he continued. "Not that you don't work an enormous amount in this, but it's completely pleasure."
Wronoski, who does not consider himself a bibliophile because he rejects a personal relationship with books, defined the role of rare booksellers as guardians:
"I maintain custody of these fabulous objects until the right person comes along to relieve me of them," he said. "For me, money is so much less interesting than these objects. I'm selling the best thing that you could possibly buy."
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