Eerdmans Bookstore Closes Its Doors
On December 23 the Eerdmans Bookstore at 2140 Oak Industrial Drive NE, will close its doors to the public. That does not mean that it will cease to publish excellent books as it has done for over a century; only that it will close their retail part of the business. Customers will still be able to purchase books through the company's website, www.eerdmans.com.
This fall’s issue of Origins, the historical magazine of the Calvin Archives, describes how William B. Eerdmans, Sr., a young Dutch immigrant who had arrived in 1901, began his publishing business by selling books out of his bicycle basket to Calvin College and Seminary students and professors.
He was not the first to see a profitable market in the growing Dutch immigrant community in Grand Rapids. Brant Sipkes Sevensma, also a Dutch immigrant, arrived in Grand Rapids in July 1887 at age twenty, when his clergy father began his ministry at Eastern Avenue CRC. By 1898 Sevensma was in the book publishing business, where young William B. Eerdmans joined him in 1911. However, in 1922 Sevensma’s health determined that he leave the book publishing business for something less strenuous, and the William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company was founded. Thus, for over a century this company has set the gold standard for religious and theological book publishing.
Until it closes its doors on December 23, the store has reduced the prices in the bookstore by 50%. This gives you still a week or two to get that book you’ve been meaning to buy for someone on your list who loves a good theological read.
(Submitted by Janet Sheeres, interim editor of Origins, genealogist and author)