Neighbors Rescue Small Bookstores By Investing
Instead of trying to save small local bookstores by invoking historic preservation laws, environmental review laws, zoning laws and the like, activists are starting to "put their money where their mouths are," according to a column by Nathaniel Popper in the January 18 Wall Street Journal. Brooklyn's once failing Community Bookstore has seven new investors. According to the article, investor John Turturro, an actor, had the means to invest from his disposable income, but Rebeccah Welch and her partner took out a loan using their apartment as collateral to invest $10,000. She said, "We invested because it's almost like an educational institution; it's an anchor for the community." Groups of investors who are saving local bookstores are a far cry from the angry political protests that have been raised when a new Borders bookstore comes into a neighborhood. Stores that have been saved by spontaneous investors range from Brent Books and Cards in downtown Chicago to Kepler's Books and Magazines in Menlo Park, California.