Since its opening in 1974, The Bookman has faced a number of obstacles: fire, big box stores, Amazon, and ownership change. Even with these setbacks, The Bookman has remained a trusted community resource. In just the last few years, we have:
*significantly increased our book inventory
*instituted monthly story times with extraordinary local teachers
*refurbished a children’s room and added educational toys and games
*built a stage and featured incredible musicians, poets and authors
*celebrated family parties and our own 45th anniversary
*added Notables and Great American Reads book clubs
*promoted local artisans and Michigan-made products
*participated in Wine about Winter, the Pirate Festival, Art Walk, and Frozen in Time
*donated merchandise to community events and charity functions
*run book drives, food drives, and animal adoptions
*provided meeting space for nonprofits and community organizations
We’ve accomplished all this while continuing to employ knowledgeable and service-minded booksellers, stock the best current literature, and track special orders and out-of-print books — all because we believe a great bookstore is essential to a thriving community.
And then came Covid-19. All our plans and projections went out the window as the pandemic redefined what is and is not essential. Like so many other businesses, The Bookman was forced to close.
Without walk-in traffic from mid-March through the end of May, we were unable to cover the cost of rent, payroll, utilities and other expenses. The CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program provided some help; however, they don’t compensate for sales losses during the shut down and won’t cover sales lost due to the cancellation of Coast Guard Festival and other summer events.
In fact, Covid-19 presents the biggest financial challenge in our 45-year history, and we need your help to recover from it.
Can you spare $17, the cost of a paperback? $27, the cost of a hardcover? How about the $200 you didn’t spend on Little League or your gym membership this spring?
All funds contributed will be used to settle current accounts so that we can continue providing our community a place to learn, meet, connect, browse, discover, and enjoy.
As our country navigates a safe reopening, please help reaffirm that The Bookman must remain an essential resource in the Tri-Cities community.
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