Help The Book Cellar

Over fifteen years ago, I opened The Book Cellar.   I had this idea of combining my two favorite things, books and wine.  I presented my business plan to the alderman and Chambers of Commerce, and it was serendipity when I was told that the neighborhood had actually been requesting an independent bookstore.


Since that time, a lot has happened.  There have been story times with strollers lined up on the sidewalk, Harry Potter parties that spilled into Giddings Plaza, too many author book launches to count, spelling bees, book club meetings, graduate student readings, The Kates who keep us laughing twice monthly, Essay Fiesta, Witty Women Writers, and events with the Chamber of Commerce like Wine Stroll and Halloween Happenings.  There has never been a dull moment!  We have taken books on the road; hauling books Sherpa style to restaurants, hotels, The Hideout, conferences, theaters, McCormick Place, Printer’s Row, libraries, and private homes.  Every time I drive around the city, I always spot places The Book Cellar has visited. We've sold books in neighborhoods all across the city, and we’re proud to support all of our local authors whenever we could.


People in the book business know that you do not own a book store thinking you will make a lot of money.  Success is meeting the bills each month. For almost 16 years, The Book Cellar has been able to do that by hosting events and selling books at offsite events.   Since March, events in the store and offsite have stopped abruptly, and our store, like many others, has closed to the public.  We have had to reduce our staff. We canceled future orders from publishers in an effort to slow the incoming bills. I have applied for every small business loan we're qualified for, and spent untold hours running all around town delivering books to customers.  We are working hard every day to fill orders through our website, and are doing everything we possibly can to make ends meet and be ready to reopen our doors as soon as we receive the go-ahead.


But, as we all know, this is a unique time.  And I am not sure, that we will be able to last until the shelter in place order is lifted.

We have felt the outpouring of support through the vast number of web orders, gift card purchases,  phone calls, and emails, not to mention The Kates' wonderful donation efforts. I am endlessly grateful to every person who has sent us kind words of encouragement, or placed orders with us. I have been humbled by the community's support through this crazy time, and will never stop saying thank you. I wish it could be enough.


And so it is with a heavy heart that I am asking you to help The Book Cellar weather this unique time.  The world may have temporarily stopped, but life—and bills—have continued on. We will still need to meet rent payments, insurance payments, payroll, vendor bills and utilities while our doors remain locked. I understand the world is riddled with uncertainty right now, and full of challenges that we have never faced before. It is my hope that with your help,  we will be able to get through this, and be together to celebrate books and wine on the other side. 


With that goal in mind, if you do find yourself with the funds to do so right now, and believe in our store's mission of providing a gathering place to share stories, please consider donating to The Book Cellar. Any amount helps. Every penny will go towards keeping us open. It is our hope to continue supplying our wonderful readers with as many books as their hearts' desire, and to keep our booksellers working. But to do that, we need your help.

It is our sincere hope that we are able to continue sharing stories with all of you. They're more important now than ever.


Our goal of $50,000 can keep us going through May, with the hope that by June we will again be open for business. 10% of all monies donated will go to BINC, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping out booksellers.


Suzy Takacs
Chicago, IL

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