Help Save Wide World Books & Maps

$30,241 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 366 people in 30 months
Hello from Wide World Books & Maps, a bookstore specializing in travel books, maps, and accessories.  Founded in 1976, we’re the oldest travel bookstore in the country; over the past 40 years we’ve hosted hundreds of authors, travel experts, and tour guides who have educated and entertained our customers with their travel expertise and stories.  In the past few months, for example, we’ve enjoyed talks on Colombia, Ethiopia, Italy, Thailand, Iran, and Patagonia.  For several years, we’ve hosted our Saturday morning solo traveler and gutsy women travel groups; these popular meetings have helped inform and inspire travelers, who gather to share their travel tales and support one another’s travel dreams.   

Our store is full of travel guides, wall and folding maps, and hundreds of travel accessories.  In addition to being a wonderful gathering place for customers, the well-traveled store staff are a great resource for those with travel questions and concerns, providing the type of personalized service that is obviously not available to on-line shoppers. 

We’ve been impacted by the recession and have been struggling to come out of that slump, as well as being hit hard by that big on-line book (and now everything else) store, which seems to be intent on putting independent bookstores out of business.  In the process, the loss to the community as a whole is huge; a virtual store is not a place for friends to gather, share, and learn. 

As the owner for the past 7 years, I’ve been wearing two hats, managing the store and working full-time in another position.  This has been personally difficult, and it’s likely that the store has suffered from not receiving my full, undivided attention.  Going forward my sole focus will be on the store – I love the store and want it to stay open, especially now that I’ve realized how many other people love the store as well.  It’s a new beginning and I believe that together we can do this.

We would love to continue to provide the valuable personalized service that we have for so many years, and to help you plan and prepare for your next trip.  In order to do so, we need your help:  we’d love to build the inventory back to the quality and variety of former years, bring in the latest and best travel gadgets, and continue to host our wonderful authors and presenters. 

We know that times are changing and bookstores likely cannot totally compete with online marketing.  Therefore we want to do what we can to increase our activities as a community gathering place, and allow the store to continue to be a place for residents of Wallingford and surrounding areas to visit before that last minute business trip or vacation and get the information and supplies they need.   

With your donations, we’ll be able to pay off some back bills and restore missing travel items and titles to our shelves.  While there are no guarantees the store will be able survive another 40 or even 4 years, re-establishing our former levels of inventory will greatly increase our chances.  We also have several ideas for offering additional services, such as a travel agency/consulting service, and for bringing in additional travel brands and items to help turn the store around and keep us from returning to the position we’re currently in.  Advertising campaigns, to attract both old and new customers, as well as updating and expanding our website, should also help.

Our goal is to raise $30,000 by April 15th through this site, which is what is needed to keep the store open. When we reach our $30,000 goal, Rick Steves’ Europe, one of our major supporters, has generously donated ten 7-day tours to Istanbul, London, Paris, or Rome, which would raise an additional $20,000 for the store.  However, his donation is contingent on us raising $30,000 through this campaign, which means your $30,000 donation will actually result in a $50,000 donation to the store!   If we don’t reach our goal, 100% of the money will be returned to each donor, at absolutely no cost.  

Several awards are available for donors, depending on the amount of your gift.  New awards will be added over the next few weeks, so please check back for new selections.  All donors will be listed in a "We Helped Save Wide World Books & Maps" book in the store and will receive a WIde World Travel Store thank you card and 10% off coupon good towards their next purchase.   

We hope you will join us in this effort to save Wide World Books!  Together we can keep the oldest travel bookstore in the country – and important community resource for travel advice, presentations, and support groups -- open.  Our goal is to provide a great selection of books and gifts for travelers and non-travelers alike, and to continue to help you achieve your travel dreams. 

Thank you from Wide World Books & Maps!
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As most of you know, in February 2016 we announced that Wide World Books & Maps would be closing that month. You and hundreds of other customers generously donated money to help pay off some back rent and bills, restock the store inventory, and increase our advertising.

While it was a good rally and we’ve been able to keep the store open for another year, unfortunately we’re just not able to sufficiently turn the store around in its current location. There are several reasons for this, the main one being the exponential rise in internet shopping, a marked decrease in neighborhood foot traffic, and the continued rise in rent and utilities.

Given that, it’s clear that we are not able to keep the store open in its current location or in its current configuration. We are considering a few other options, namely reopening in another location or focusing solely on a web business. We need to be out of our current location by the end of April. To minimize the amount of inventory that needs to be moved and/or stored, all store merchandise will be on sale starting on Tuesday, March 7th, and will continue into April. We’ll start at 10% off store merchandise, and increase the discount in future days.

I’m sending out a store newsletter today to let the community at large with more details about this, but wanted to send a separate email to the GoFundMe donors. I cannot express how much your donation and support has meant to the store. Many of you have not yet picked up your thank you gift (e.g., free guidebook, map, RFID blocking credit card sleeve, etc.) Please try to do so as soon as possible – it is our way of thanking you for your support over the years and during the campaign last year, when it was so greatly appreciated. I want to make sure that you receive your gift before the end of April, since it may be several months before a new store is up and running. If your donation entitles you to receive a book or map, and you do cannot find the one you want in stock, I will be glad to order it for you. If you want to have your gift mailed, please respond to this email with your name and address, and I’ll send it out right away.

We will keep you posted about any developments, for example, if we find a new location, over the next few months. Thank you so much for your loyal support us over the past few years! You’ve enabled us to stay open as long as we have, and I’m truly hoping that we still have a future!
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Sonja Hunt
29 months ago

Julie was going to have to close the store but when she announced it -so many people showed up. Hundreds of people came to the store and bought things to try to support her. She was so moved by the caring of all of these customers that when someone suggested this funding side she decided to try it. I'm asking all of my friends to just donate a small amount that will help her keep the store open. All money is spent on the store.

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$30,241 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 366 people in 30 months
Created February 24, 2016
Ready to go
Donate $20 and receive a luggage tag imprinted with the Wide World Books logo
Traveler I
Receive either an RFID blocking passport sleeve or two credit card sleeves (your choice) imprinted with the Wide World Books logo
Traveler II
Receive two RFID blocking credit card sleeves and a passport sleeve, all imprinted with the Wide World Books logo
Carry it!
Receive a Chico-brand tote bag, imprinted with the Wide World Books & Maps logo
Wear it!
Receive a Wide World Books logo t-shirt, available in a variety of sizes and colors
Shape up!
Receive a one-hour free trek training session with personal trainer Sheri Goodwin of Transformation Journeys to help you get ready for your next big trek
Read it!
Receive any guidebook - your choice of destination and publisher. Choose from Rick Steves, Lonely Planet, Moon, Rough Guide, DK, or Insight Guides
Color It!
2 of 5 left
Donate $100 and receive your choice of one of these popular coloring books by a local artist: Colorful Seattle, Tokyo, or Portland!
Plot it!
Receive any guidebook and map - your choice of destinations and publishers
Keep it safe!
0 of 6 left
Receive a Pacsafe brand anti-theft bag, designed to keep your valuables safe on the road
Let's go!
1 of 7 left
Receive a $250 discount off any group or independent tour by Ponte Travels. Choose from Ecuador, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Sri Lanka and many more!
Heading South!
4 of 5 left
Receive $300 toward a custom or group tour with Crux Expeditions, specializing in unique explorations in Patagonia!
Receive 20% off a custom or group tour from Caravan-Serai Tours. Choose from several destinations - Cuba, Iran, Turkey, Morocco - to name just a few!
WWB Friend
Receive 10% off all in-store purchases at Wide World Books for life!
WWB Patron
Receive 20% off all in-store purchases at Wide World Books for life!
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17 months ago
Julie Fanselow
28 months ago

Congrats on topping your $30K goal! I'm adding a little extra ... I need a cool new luggage tag.

Sonja Hunt
29 months ago

Julie was going to have to close the store but when she announced it -so many people showed up. Hundreds of people came to the store and bought things to try to support her. She was so moved by the caring of all of these customers that when someone suggested this funding side she decided to try it. I'm asking all of my friends to just donate a small amount that will help her keep the store open. All money is spent on the store.

+ Read More
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