GURBER, AZ – The small town of Gruber, Ariz. was rescued this week from a menace that has plagued the quiet, mountain community for nearly 60 years. Corporate juggernaut Barnes and Noble Booksellers, much to the relief of the citizens, snuffed out the strong-arm business tactics of Blank Page Book Store once and for all.
The quaint little town, nestled in the mountains of Northern Arizona, had been at the mercy of The Blank Page since the store opened in 1943. The locally owned and operated bookstore had previously been the only bookstore within 120 miles until the Barnes and Noble opened in April.
“I think as a town we were all really happy to have the Barnes and Nobles come here,” Said Glenda Wills, Gruber resident and grandmother of 4. “Those cocksuckers… excuse my language, they just get me so damned upset. Those Blank Page people are the most horrible people you have ever met. They had such a small selection and the cheapest book in there was $150.00. That just isn’t right. They also set up check points in town to make sure you didn’t bring books into the city. It was like living under god damned nazis. Only without the showers.”
Barnes and Noble’s director of Expansion, Kimball Wyatt, was well aware of the struggle in Gurber. After a brief visit to the town, plans were drawn and financing approved for the new store.
“We at Barnes and Noble are on the lookout for situations like this,” Wyatt said. “We knew there was a problem and we simply came to the rescue. There isn’t a site we like seeing more than opening our doors for the first time and having an entire city be in your hands. Seeing all those smiling faces come into the door, you just know you are destroying another business. And that feels good. Like you’re a superhero or something. It’s like the first time I was with my partner Kyle. He said come and I came! Boy howdy, I don’t think I’ll ever forget that night. It was so special. Just a smidge more special than the opening of this Gurber store. And let me tell you something though… don’t print this but I swear Kyle’s penis is as big as this shit hole town.”
Almost as soon as the Barnes and Noble opened, The Blank Page’s business fell, eventually stopping all together. A month after the new store opened, The Blank Page had to shut its doors and was forced to cease operations.
After their store closed its doors for the last time, owners Rain and Benjamin Shashty were forced to leave Gruber under threat of physical harm.
“I don’t know what the hell is going on back there man,” Benjamin Shashty said. “It’s an unhealthy scene for sure. My wife and I did what we could to serve that town and its literary needs but they just never liked us. I don’t know if it’s because none of our books had pictures or what, but they hated us. Maybe it was the fact that we never carried the ‘Joy of Sex.’ But I’m sorry, but that kind of filth has no place in this bookstore. Besides, where the hell would we put it, next to the homosexual loving manuals? I think not. Once a week we would get something thrown through the window of the store. We had to keep raising prices to pay for new glass windows every month.”
Benjamin Shshty and his wife took over every day operations of The Blank Page in 1978. The previous owners, Shashty’s mother and father, passed the store onto their son after a mysterious and unsolved accident took the life of Benjamin’s father.
“I think this is a new beginning for the people of Gurber. Finally we can open a book and maybe read if… if any of us know how. But we at least can look at the nice pictures and have some good coffee,” Gurber Mayor Aldlay Wilks said.