Books for good
January 11, 2011 7:20 AM   Subscribe

There is Housing Works in NYC, which raises money for community based AIDS/HIV treatment and housing for the homeless. Here in Chicago we have Open Books, who uses the money raised from selling donated books to run literacy programs and tutoring programs for children. Now Minneapolis is getting Boneshaker Books; an all volunteer run radical bookstore that will house the Women's Prison Book Project and offer bike book delivery.
posted by bibliogrrl (17 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Until recently Housing Works was *the* place to go for quality men's clothes at deep deep discount.

Now it's just deep discounts, but still good.
posted by The Whelk at 7:24 AM on January 11, 2011

I'm a huge fan of First Book, too.
posted by hermitosis at 7:30 AM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

Thanks hermitosis! I would have added them had I been aware of them! I hope more people talk about ones they know of - I would love to know of more.
posted by bibliogrrl at 7:33 AM on January 11, 2011

Housing Works is great--the Upper East Side one is near my mom's place, and I went there for years before moving away. These are all really worthwhile projects--thanks for sharing.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 7:40 AM on January 11, 2011

Ooh, thanks for this link. I'll bring our excess to Boneshaker posthaste. By bike.
posted by entropone at 7:44 AM on January 11, 2011

Speaking of books and bikes - is Chicago's Book Bike still going? Guess so.
posted by zamboni at 7:46 AM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

Sweet! I'll have to go visit Boneshaker the next time I'm in Minneapolis!
posted by jillithd at 7:55 AM on January 11, 2011

I spent quite a bit of time in Chicago this summer and made many trips to Open Books. The air conditioning was out the first day I was there, but I was so taken by the store's mission that I made sure I stayed until I found some things I wanted. It's near Cabrini Green, but the area seemed to be gentrifying rapidly (Paper Source is now right around the corner, for instance). But it is a very cool place (except, you know, when the air isn't working in July...).
posted by BlooPen at 8:02 AM on January 11, 2011

Not quite along the same lines, but I love doing Book Crossing.

You register a book, label it, then release it "into the wild." (It's sort of like Where's George but for books.) I've been doing a lot of decluttering, and any book I haven't read in 2 years or more is in the Book Crossing pile.

Over the weekend I set out a copy of Empire Falls by Richard Russo in front of the post office. I went inside to get my mail, realized I had forgotten to take a picture of the book on the bench for my blog, and went back outside. But it was already gone, snapped up in seconds by someone who - I should hope - will enjoy reading it.

Most Book Crossing books are probably picked up by other readers. But I always hope that one of my releases will end up in the hands of one of the 58% of Americans who "never read another book after high school," or the 80% of American families who "did not buy or read a book last year."
posted by ErikaB at 11:13 AM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

I hope it turns out to be a decent bookstore as I think we could do with one (Magers and Quinn does seem pretty decent and has used books). They're a bit confused as to their location though: Lyndale and 23rd isn't on Franklin.

Cody's in Berkeley used to have bicycle delivery if you didn't live too far up a hill (I think the cutoff was College and Piedmont, if anyone really cares--I recall living just above the line). I suppose that ended well before the demise of Cody's.
posted by hoyland at 2:21 PM on January 11, 2011

Nice to see another indie bookstore pop up now that Arise! is no more. Also, the actual location is by 2nd Moon coffee shop, on 23rd and Franklin (in the Seward neighborhood). Can't wait to check it out - wish I still lived in that area!
posted by antonymous at 2:46 PM on January 11, 2011

antonymous: Now I'm confused. You're right that the address in Seward (damn numbered streets and avenues--actually, damn Minneapolis and the weird street system entirely). What's their sign doing outside what was Arise!?
posted by hoyland at 4:18 PM on January 11, 2011

This is awesome! I do wonder about the logistics, like whether they'll be able to pay the rent or make a profit (what would they do with it?).

Does the Twin Cities even have a single independent, new, general-purpose bookstore? I guess there's Common Good (part of the Garrison Keillor franchise), but I can't find any others. I've noticed that bookstores are starting to crop up again in trendier parts of bigger cities, so I guess it's only a matter of time.
posted by miyabo at 5:36 PM on January 11, 2011

miyabo, Micawbers is still open. (and from reading their blog, there's a book in the last entry that looks interesting...need to go there and get it)
posted by Electric Elf at 9:18 PM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]

Thank you so much for the Open Books love! (Disclaimer: I'm the Executive Director. ;) ) And yes, it seriously sucked when the air went out in July.
posted by picopebbles at 3:14 PM on January 12, 2011

Yeah, but I came back 3 or 4 times after that (with air!) and found more stuff. Plus there was the Newberry Library book sale in there, too, and I ended up having luggage full of books to go back home and still had to ship some...
posted by BlooPen at 10:02 PM on January 18, 2011

I ADORE Open Books. I'm sad that I can't volunteer there doing what I want to do (conflict of interest), but I'll never not love OB.
posted by bibliogrrl at 1:13 PM on February 2, 2011

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