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Protect Our Independent Bookstore

$23,952 of $120,000 goal

Raised by 285 people in 1 month

We are Loome Theological Booksellers, as far as we know, the world's oldest theological bookstore.

You can find us on Main street in historic downtown Stillwater, the birthplace of Minnesota, on the beautiful St. Croix River and WE NEED YOUR HELP TO KEEP US HERE!

Back in the 1970s, our founder, Doctor of Theology and college professor, Thomas Loome began rescuing books from dying libraries, monasteries, seminaries.  He gathered them from all over North America and England into our first brick and mortar location in the Old Swedish Covenant Church, also in Stillwater.  From there, year after year, he gave these books new lives by getting them into the hands,
and then the hearts and minds of the thousands of visitors to his bookstore.  They came, and still do, from all over the world.

Dr. Loome retired in 2008 and sold his bookstore to a couple of his employees.  Now I, Christopher Hagen, am the proprietor of Loome Theological Booksellers and I NEED YOUR HELP to keep our brick and mortar from going only mail order!

Six years ago I moved the bookstore and my growing family to a local farm to expand the available space to warehouse our collection of books and have room for new libraries and collections to process. We intended to stay there for the long-haul but, after five years, our landlord decided to repurpose the farm for his personal use and that left us with the sudden need to move.

But not just move, we had to find a place to move my family, we had to find a place to move the bookstore, we had to then move my family, and then move the bookstore.  Now, I have a large family and the bookstore was immense.  We had about six months to get this all worked out and accomplished.  However, after a troubled pregnancy, my family welcomed our seventh living child, months earlier than her due date, right in the middle of all this.  My daughter (and her visiting parents) spent months in the NICU at the hospital and finally came home to the farm under very difficult conditions.

I don't know how my family and the bookstore made it through 2017, but by the end of the year, both family and bookstore had moved off the farm and were settling into a new house and a new storefront for the bookstore.

In 2018 my family now lives in a good house in town and, my daughter, is a tiny, but very healthy 15 month-old.

At the new bookstore location, we've gone from welcoming, in a great month at the old location, about 100 visitors to the bookstore, to, in a normal month, welcoming over a thousand visitors. However, the increased sales have not been enough to overcome the financial aftershocks of getting my family and the bookstore through the storms of 2017.

That's why I need your help now.

My debt load, from the move, is now too heavy to pay and I don't see how we can continue to pay the expenses of an open shop without getting a significant amount of that debt load removed.

Our goal with this Go Fund Me Campaign is to raise enough money to pay down enough debt so that we can continue to have a brick and mortar open shop, right here, in our home, Stillwater, MN.

If you love Loome Theological Booksellers,

if you love independent bookstores,

if you love a space for strangers to meet and discuss God, the great authors, revolutionary ideas, and step back in time through the experience of our rare book collection,

if you love a bookstore that collaborates with local authors and artists to showcase what makes our St. Croix River Valley unique and engaging 

. . . then keep our brick and mortar from having to go only mail-order.

Contribute today and please tell your friends and family about our campaign.

Please send me an email if you know of donors or organizations whom you think would like to help us out.  Together we can keep this bookstore thriving on Main Street!

All monies raised will only go towards paying down debt for the bookstore.  If we raise enough money to pay down all the debt, then I will announce new fundraising goals and projects in an update.

Please pray for the work of Loome Theological Booksellers.

I will fight hard to keep this brick and mortar bookstore open here.

It is a good fight.

It is worth it.

We are worth it.
+ Read More
What an eventful and surprising couple of weeks the start of the campaign has been!

This morning we crossed the first $10,000 milestone (only 11 more to go!).

One of the local Twin Cities papers, THE PIONEER PRESS, interviewed me this week and will be featuring the campaign on Sunday.

The campaign recently received some national attention too! ( https://www.catholicworldreport.com/2018/06/28/loome-theological-booksellers-launches-campaign-to-keep-brick-and-mortar-location-open/)

Lastly, I started a new part-time job with the goal to take some of my family's financial burden off the bookstore as well.

Most importantly, the money contributed so far paid down enough debt to keep the bookstore open into July (yes, debt matters are that tight right now!). If the campaign finishes raising the $120,000 in July, we should be good to stay open for the long haul. If not, then another decision about keeping the bookstore open will loom (pun intended) before the school year starts.

Thank you very much, all of you, for your prayers, financial contributions, spreading the word, and your photographs, comments, and memories of this beloved bookstore. I am honored by your support and greatly encouraged.

Onward!

Christopher Hagen

Please note: for tax purposes, you are not able to deduct your contribution as a donation. A friend of the bookstore recently reminded me to make everyone aware of this.
+ Read More
Today is the day when I shared the campaign publically with the members of the bookstore's email list and I've been honored and surprised with the contribution amounts. Thank you all.

Onward!
+ Read More
Read a Previous Update

$23,952 of $120,000 goal

Raised by 285 people in 1 month
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