|Left Bank Books, located in Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington.|
Image via Left Bank Books' Facebook page
Left Bank Books is collectively run and worker-controlled, and it is largely staffed by a dedicated group of volunteers. The handful of paid workers - a core staff of approximately six members - handle a range of responsibilities, including lease negotiating, bookkeeping, ordering, marketing, general store maintenance, and volunteer coordination, all while earning low wages. For paid staff members and volunteer workers alike, running Left Bank Books is truly a labor of love.
|Inside Seattle's Left Bank Books.|
Image by Melissa Dex Guzman/Flickr
This independent bookstore in Seattle has recently embarked on an Indiegogo fundraising campaign, not necessarily because it needs saving. "We are not asking you to save us," Left Bank Books expressly states on its Indiegogo page. "We ask you to help us continue to thrive and to grow in four new directions." What new directions might this be? According to Left Bank Books:
1) "We want to establish an easy-to-use and efficient online ordering system for our customers. This means we need to invest in technology upgrades to computerize our entire inventory so we can get books and goods to you quickly."
2) "We want to expand our publishing of both reprints and original materials." In addition to being an independent bookstore, Left Bank is also a small publisher.
3) "We want to keep our shelves stocked with the best and most interesting books you could hope to find!"
4) "We want to continue our long-standing sponsorship of the Books-to-Prisoners Project, which answers thousands of requests from prisoners throughout the U.S. They receive donated books for free, but our postage costs have gotten higher."
To accomplish these goals, Left Bank Books is admittedly setting its sights high, hoping to raise $50,000 between now and the final day of the fundraiser, which for now is January 19, 2015. With twenty-one days left in the Indiegogo campaign, Left Bank Books has raised $4,517 toward its ultimate goal.
If you would like to help Left Bank Books "continue to thrive and to grow," give to its Indiegogo campaign at THIS LINK. If you're traveling to Seattle, or if you're in the Seattle area, stop by Left Bank Books in Pike Place Market at 92 Pike Street. Its hours are 10am to 7pm Monday through Saturday, and 11am to 6pm on Sunday. Support independent bookstores!