Hyde Park bookstore O’Gara & Wilson closes after decades in operation

Move to Indiana prompted, in part, by ‘toxic environment for small businesses,’ owner says

Doug Wilson, owner of O’Gara and Wilson bookstore in the Hyde Park neighborhood, says a “toxic environment for small businesses” is partly to blame for him closing his shop, which has been a fixture in the neighborhood for more than 50 years. (Terrence Antonio James, Chicago Tribune / June25, 2013)

By Mugambi Mutegi
Published in Chicago Tribune on July 18, 2013

At the O’Gara & Wilson bookstore in the Hyde Park neighborhood, Rory Preston, 25, was packing more than 27,000 books into 900 brown paper bags Tuesday. Each bag was to contain 35 books of the same genre.

Store owner Doug Wilson, 63, was on a ladder with a drill, trying to get the lighting off the ceiling. Removing the wooden shelves was on the to-do list.

The two had been at it since Sunday, when the store, which specialized in used books and was a fixture in Hyde Park for more than 50 years, officially closed. Wilson cited a restrictive business environment in the neighborhood, compounded by dwindling readership, as reasons for the closing.