President of Independent Bookstore Steps Down in Wake of Changes


Andy Ross recently resigned from his post as president of the independent bookseller Cody’s Books, based in Berkeley, California. Ross said that he told his staff, "We have gone through so many changes that I'm tired out," the San Francisco Chronicle reported. "The whole vision of Cody's and bookselling has changed so much (that) it's hard for me to do my job well." Ross bought the bookstore, founded in 1956 by Fred and Pat Cody, in 1977.

Recently awarded the PEN Oakland Lifetime Achievement Award for his service to the literary community as a champion for independent bookstores, Ross will continue to work with Cody’s as a consultant for special projects. Ross’s wife, Leslie Berkler, will stay on as vice president.

Ross’s resignation is the latest in a series of changes for Cody’s, which was forced to close two of its branches in the past two years due to "an amalgamation of decreasing sales, changing reading habits, and neighborhood difficulties," according to the bookstore Web site. In 2006, the company was sold to Yohan, Inc., a Japanese book distributor.

The Berkeley store will remain open, with Hiroshi Kagawa of Yohan serving as the bookstore’s interim president.