We can't take any more of this Bay Area independent bookstore stress -- first the Kepler's drama and now this? Venerated SF independent bookstore stalwart A Clean Well-Lighted Place For Books is on the market. Owner Neal Sofman says that it's been hard getting walk-in traffic at its Opera Plaza location and that sales have been steadily declining over the years. But what about that new Peet's that just opened next door? Surely that would help?

In fact, Sofman just sold CWLPB's brilliant domain name (bookstore.com) last month to an undisclosed party, for an undisclosed amount. (That would explain why we couldn't pull up any bookstore-specific information about Caroline Paul's reading two days ago for the Wednesdays column.)

Sofman is opening a new bookstore in West Portal, but emphasizes that it isn't going to be anything like Clean Well-Lighted: "It's a small neighborhood bookstore."

We're so sad! We love Clean Well-Lighted's book selection, remainders, and readings -- plus, we're only like two books away from redeeming our frequent buyers' card. Please let someone cool buy the place!

Picture from Steve Rhodes's Flickr account; Rhodes notes that he didn't take the picture.