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Money | Books | Awareness

May 31, 2014 ó The bookstores have yet to get over the hump sales wise since the big move from Lakewood to Lochwood, the new shelving and repair work in Mesquite, and the opening of the new location in Oak Cliff.

When we sold the building in Lakewood a couple of years ago, there were some who advised us to just set aside what was left, after paying off most of what we owed, for our own personal security, as we get further into the years when others are retiring, and just let our customers from that area of town drive to the Mesquite store.

We didn't feel that this was something that we could do and thought that we were obligated to try to establish another location not so far away and buy another building if possible to try to make as long term a home for the bookstore as possible which we did at the building on Garland Road. It is not as close as we would have liked but is a wonderful building that we were able to buy so that there is more control over its future and it has turned into a pretty unique place to browse. We also updated our name since we felt that the old one tended to focus attention too much on just one part of what we offer to our patrons.

We also spent a good bit on the Mesquite store rebuilding all of the paperback shelves and completely re-roofing the support building next door where that store originally started 40 years ago, which anniversary we are celebrating now with our 40-Day Birthday Party. And we opened the new location in Oak Cliff in a very interesting space serving a neighborhood that hasn't had a general bookstore there in more than a couple decades since Half Price left their old Zangs Boulevard location way back when.

The long and the short of it now is that we spent over 90% of that money doing all this, and we've run out of our own personal resources for getting the stores over the hump a while back creating the need to see if others are willing to pitch in to get us the last little bit of the way. We only need to increase our traffic by about 15% to be on the good side of things.

We recently sent out letters to 25-30 friends, family and acquaintances advising them of the situation. We got some support, but we need more. Three of their responses are worth noting here and have inspired us to broaden the appeal to involve all of you who care about the bookstores and want them to continue to be a part of your lives for a long time to come. I don't think that any of them will mind us sharing their comments with you.

First, Beth Keenan who has been instrumental in the establishing and continuing of weekly classes in Buddhism at the Oak Cliff store said:

"Donít worry about asking people for help - it will make people feel closer and ... Itís the best idea and I am thrilled you are so close to breaking even." (We only need to increase our traffic by about 15% to get on the good side of things.)

So we are reaching out to you and letting you know how you can help if you wish to and are able whether if be directly and more immediately financially or with a view to the longer term by assisting in other ways.

Second, Terry Ford, a founder of Lumin Education ( ), which was known since 1978 as East Dallas Community School until recently, and has been one of the premier Montessori schools of Dallas since they first started in the basement of a church on Dolphin Road, growing from that humble beginning to three campuses now as real community schools as their earlier name implied, said something that we would be a bit shy about saying ourselves since we are not very comfortable tooting our own horn and hate to assume things of this nature:

"You have been so good to us over the years ... now is a good time for all that you have done for our community to come circling back!"

We certainly appreciate her saying it and hope that it is indeed the case that others feel similarly as we have been trying to make a difference by making things much more affordable for everyone who shares our passion for books, movies and music for what has now been a very long time.

Third, a long time friend of the store and all round good guy who wishes to remain anonymous called to say that whereas the sum of money that we had hoped we could raise from 15-20 individuals was more than he could reasonably part with, he was bringing a check by one of the stores for a lesser amount that was not "life changing" money for him either way but that would still be a big help to us. His feeling was that while we might not have 15-20 folks that could give the larger amount, he felt that we should have 75-80 folks who could give what he gave. As he put it, "if I found this amount on the street, it wouldn't change my life, and if I invested this amount in something I care about, I wouldn't miss it".

This led us to talk about doing our own local version of Indiegogo for this need without the overhead that would be entailed by using them so that all the money raised would go for the intended purpose.

So here are three areas in which you may be able to help the bookstores in the short run as well as the longer term. Please click on each to see the details, and feel free to drop me a line at if you have further questions or wish to get involved.




Thanks and good luck,

John Tilton