Bill Burruss, the founder and owner of Know Knew Books in Palo Alto needs your help!
Bill ran and operated Knew Knew Books for 24 years. Every day he loved doing what he did. He supported the community with books, and a venue to to let people be heard. From chinchilla adoptions, to poetry readings, and even break dancing shows. If you didn't have your wallet, he'd let you come back whenever to pay, and if you were a student or teacher, those 15% discounts would be closer to 50%.
After struggling to keep the store open, staring down the threat of iPads and Kindles, the store wasn't doing so hot. He had sale after sale, and did everything he could, ultimately deciding if he could sell the stock of the store to someone, he and his wife could start over up in Portland where used books were still a booming business.
After putting a sign up to sell what was in the store, an individual came in to make an offer. After a few weeks they said they'd lend him the money to keep the store open if he would continue to run it, and they could be part of the store. That individual put in a bunch of money funding not only their own wants for the store, but ultimately a big remodel of a new location in Los Altos they had decided to move to when the lease was up in Palo Alto.
At some point this individual realized they were putting money into a money losing business and decided to get out. This left Bill needing to get scrappy to make rent and bills at the new location. Fast forward three months and this individual sued him claiming the store was theirs in an attempt to get back the money put in. The only paper trail any of them had were cancelled checks, and due to a judge doing a cursory glance of the situation, they ruled in the individual's favor, having a marshal remove Bill from his store.
Friends from the community knew various lawyers willing to help, but the individual seems to be funding their legal counsel with an endless supply of cash. Bill and his wife, on the other hand, had to sell everything they owned in order to try and restart their lives, and are now living in his wife's sister's guest cottage in Virginia while he looks for work.
For someone so involved with helping the community for so long, we're hoping that the community that loved him can support him by donating to a fund to help him pay a legitimate lawyer to wrap up defending him.
The money we raise goes directly to paying for legal counsel to help Bill wrap this case up. He can't afford to keep Know Knew Books running anymore, so if this is settled it just means he can try and start his life over in Portland or perhaps even the rare book and antique community in Virginia.
Thank you for your support, and please share this with other members of the Palo Alto and/or book loving community.