Wollongong cultural landmark Perey's Books is to close after losing the fight against electronic opposition.
The 20-year-old dealer of rare and second-hand books survived a change of ownership and two relocations, but has struggled for custom in recent years as book lovers increasingly embraced e-books.
Owner Jo Abrantes said she was relocating to Melbourne for family reasons, but this had hastened, and not caused, the Keira St store's closure after a tough few trading years.
"It was inevitable it had to close," Dr Abrantes said.
"When I began, I had a couple of full-time employees and I didn't have any problem paying them good wages.
"It has become increasingly difficult - a continual struggle. I kept it open for the love of books."
Dr Abrantes's love of reading took hold when she was a child in her native Portugal, enchanted by the adventures of the boy Eskimo Grishka from a fictional series by the French writer Rene Guillot.
As a teenager, she dreamed of opening a bookstore.
Perey's Books was opened by Elizabeth Perey on lower Crown St in 1992, and sold to Dr Abrantes nine-years-ago, soon after she arrived to work at the University of Wollongong as an academic.
She saw the store on her very first day in her new Australian city, and at once fell for its floor-to-ceiling Oregon timber shelves, heaving with "all the history, all the adventures, all the dreams . . ."
"I have a tendency to be very tidy but with the shop I have to be a bit untidy because [it is] part of the charm," she said.
Dr Abrantes believes the book trade is particularly difficult in Wollongong because the city centre doesn't draw in students and academics from the university.
Perey's will host its final literary event - a talk and reading by Ursula Widawska on her recent autobiography, The Story of My Life - on October 20 from 3pm to 6pm.
The store's more than 10,000 titles will be sold at half price leading up to its closure on November 10.