One of Clark County’s longest-running independent bookstores has closed. Hazel Dell Book Exchange hosted a final sale last weekend and then shut its doors after 44 years in operation.
The used-book store at 9901 N.E. Seventh Ave. was owned and solely operated by Clark County resident Ron Pedersen, who purchased it after a previous career as a teacher. A family member who contacted The Columbian said the closure came about because Pedersen decided to retire.
The store was founded in 1975 as Leaf Through Book Swap. Pedersen bought it in 1980 after the original owner moved away, changing the name. The 1990s and 2000s were a rough time for independent bookstores, but Pedersen weathered the storm of online shopping by converting the Book Exchange into a combination book store and vintage coin shop.