"I've always been into physical fitness and I'd started to do it on my days off," Kelly explained. She said she met some clients as they browsed the store's fitness section.
"I was ready for a change," Kelly said. "When you own a small business, you are there six to seven days a week."
She also said e-readers were affecting her sales plus the economy has slowed down. The Bookstore sold only used books, and employees carefully cleaned each volume, including airing out the pages.
"I felt it was a good time to leave," Kelly said, noting that her customers could find used books at Bay Books in San Ramon. "But that store was the love of my life, the decision did not come easily."
Kelly has worked as an executive assistant at B. Dalton Booksellers, and also was a reviewer of romance books for specialty magazines. When she moved to Pleasanton her sister brought her to The Bookstore and introduced her to the owner, Kim Jagger. Jagger had bought the store in 2002 from Stephanie Mackey, whose parents opened it in the 1980s.
"I love used book stores and I fell in love," Kelly recalled. "I was recovering from an injury, and I offered to volunteer if she would let me read the books."
Jagger sold the store to Kelly in 2007 but continued to work there.
"Both of us were always there," Kelly said, adding that she just made a few changes. "I painted and brought in gift items."
After making the difficult decision to close the store, Kelly said, she has been happy.
"Everyone assumes it's some doomsday thing," she said. "I say, 'I'm sorry you're sad but I'm so happy I don't know what to do with myself.'"
Once The Bookstore business is finished, Kelly, a former basketball player, is ready to launch her new business. She is focusing on women's health, including pre- and post-natal, and seniors, at all fitness levels.
To thank the community for its support of The Bookstore, Kelly is selling the remaining books for $1 each, Thursdays-Mondays through Sept. 30. She is also offering volumes free to school librarians during the last week of September; for an appointment, call 426-8255.
"It wasn't just me that had a legacy, the store has been there 26 years," Kelly said.