Bay Area Free Book Exchange in El Cerrito to close after ‘massive rent increase’

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Bay Area Free Book Exchange in El Cerrito to close after 'massive rent increase'

A “massive rent increase” will force Bay Area Free Book Exchange in El Cerrito to permanently close on May 17, the store announced in a Facebook post.

The store, run cooperatively by local book sellers and lovers since 2009, has offered donated books to the public for free, imposing a limit of “100 books per person per day.” It kept its rent and bills paid by selling some of the books online, but has given away well more than a half-millions books. While patrons can get books free, the books are stamped

Read this December article in the San Francisco Chronicle for more background on the free book store.

On Saturday, however, The Book Exchange announced that a recent rent increase proved too much to continue operations.

“So far, there are no plans to relocate as we haven’t found an affordable space in the nearby areas,” it stated in the Facebook post.

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