Support the Odyssey Bookshop

My name is Joan Grenier and I am the owner of the Odyssey Bookshop , which was founded in 1963 by my father Romeo Grenier. I am reaching out to ask for your help.

Since 1963 the Odyssey has served and supported the Western Massachusetts community and the Five Colleges in a variety of ways. We organize and offer an extensive and diverse author event series for adults and children. We host a number of book groups in the store and many activities for children and families. In recent years, we have expanded to become the Mount Holyoke College Campus Store, in order to serve the college community.

And, as a proud and committed independent bookshop, we have worked hard to provide you with a carefully curated and continually updated selection of books that represents not only the many voices of our diverse country, but also voices from around the globe. My wonderful staff and I have taken great joy over the years in working with you to help you access and engage with a range of books, authors, and activities that we hope have helped to enrich your lives, and the life of the larger community. 

And in turn, you--our loyal book-loving community--have supported the Odyssey through two fires, one flood, and several economic downturns. We would not be here without your support, and we are so grateful.

But now COVID-19 is putting the Odyssey’s future in jeopardy. Since March 17 we have been closed to the public. At this time it wouldn’t surprise me if we are closed into the summer. Two large off-site revenue-generating events were cancelled in March, along with several in-store author events. April events have all been cancelled; we assume the same will be true for May. 

May is usually our best sales month, particularly because of Mount Holyoke College activities and graduation. But the College is closed. Accepted students for the Fall will not be visiting campus in the Spring, and graduation and two reunion weekends in May have been cancelled.  So, without a doubt, we face a significant cash flow crisis. 

I will apply for the grants outlined in the stimulus package which could help with rent, utilities, and payroll. However, this will not cover all our losses, and we still need to pay publishers, other vendors, and try to continue to support our staff. My husband Jon and I have already put significant money into the Odyssey and will add more from our personal savings. However, I’m 68 years old and I can’t afford to take on the amount of debt that I believe is necessary. I’m not ready to retire--my dad ran the Odyssey until age 79, and I hope to be here at least that long--but a long term loan at this stage is not a viable option. 

So, for all these reasons, I come to you, our community, asking for help and whatever financial support you can give us in these times that I know are challenging for all of us. The money raised in this campaign will help the Odyssey weather the storm and ensure that we remain a vibrant part of this community for a long time to come. 

All of us at the Odyssey are truly grateful for any amount you can give. Thank you for your loyalty and support. Please stay safe.
  • Grant Holcomb 
    • $100 
    • 14 mos
  • Grant Holcomb 
    • $150 
    • 16 mos
    • $500 
    • 16 mos
  • Theresa Przybylowicz 
    • $50 
    • 17 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $150 
    • 17 mos
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Fundraising team (5)

Raised $12,100 from 135 donations
South Hadley, MA
Kinsey Foreman 
Team member
Raised $690 from 7 donations
Rachel Lapkin 
Team member
Raised $197 from 5 donations
Sadie Trombetta 
Team member
Sadie Trombetta 
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