November 11, 2015
Legendary NYC radical bookselling collective trying to stave off rent increase
by Simon Reichley
The fall fundraising season is in full swing, and while you’re surely tired of hearing pitch after pitch, allow us to draw your attention to just one more noble cause worthy of your wallet. Bluestockings Bookstore, a bastion of feminist and radical politics on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, is nearing the close of its fall fundraising campaign.
The collective operates entirely on volunteer labor, and has proven remarkably resilient over the past 15-plus years of bookselling. But, while the store was lucky enough to sign a new five-year lease earlier this year, the increase in their monthly rent has squeezed available capital for other business costs.
Bluestockings is currently trying to meet their $50,000 fundraising goal to fund improvements to the store’s infrastructure and storefront over the next five years. Here’s a complete breakdown of the store’s proposed budget:
$2,500 – License for new point of sale system
$3,000 – Transfer to new point of sale system
$5,400 – 12 months of new point of sale system software
$3,000 – New computers and monitors
$4,300 – Basic electrical repair
$500 – Repair coffee machine
$300 – Replace broken sound equipment
$4,000 – Design, production, and installation of a new awning
$21,000 – Labor and materials to redo flooring
$6,000 – Loss of revenue when closed for flooring construction
The campaign has raised 65% of its goal over the last month, and with five days to go, there’s still time to help. To make a donation, visit the store’s Indiegogo campaign portal here.
Simon Reichley is assistant to the publishers and office manager at Melville House.