Ithaca's cooperatively-owned independent bookstore since 2011
215 N Cayuga Street Dewitt Mall · Ithaca, NY · 607-273-8246
Our store has been through many ups and down since its original incarnation as The Bookery II in 1991. Through all our struggles, our community has rallied to support us, culminating in the most awesome move yet - buying out the store and turning it into a coop in 2011. But the cycle of emergency - fundraising - success - new emergency is exhausting and unsustainable, for the staff and the community alike. We have many community members who express their desire to support the store in a more consistent way, and we hope Patreon will provide us a platform through which to do so. It's an open secret in the book industry that indie bookstores cannot survive by selling books alone - if we want to stand by our values as a bookstore and continue providing a great service to our community, then we need to make up the difference.
Why do we need a Patreon when we're a coop?
We are a consumer coop, and in that structure community members can become owners through a one-time donation. We often rely on our owners for support, feedback, outreach and word of mouth, as well as fundraising. This structure is what has allowed our store to survive and grow to what it is now, and we love our member-owners. But we admit this structure has its drawbacks as well.
Our community makeup is pretty unique, with about half our population being made up of non-permanent residents like students and seasonal visitors. The up-front cost and “permanency” of the ownership model can be daunting to these community members. Some also want to contribute to the store, but the higher price point of ownership can be cost-prohibitive. We want everyone to be able to feel involved in their local indie, no matter the length of their stay or their financial situation. We think Patreon can provide an option to support the store that is accessible to more people, and will allow more people to share their ideas and thoughts with us!
What will the Patreon income go to?
Our tiers are focused around soliciting feedback and engagement from community members, because we want your bookstore to reflect you! We want to know what you're reading and why you like it, what kinds of events you want to see, what kinds of sidelines you'd like us to carry. We want you to walk into the store, point at a shelf and say "there I am" - either because your feedback is visible, or because you see yourself reflected in the books you find there, or ideally both! We would like to use the income from this Patreon to do things like replace our old carpet, get new computers for our office, and start a pool of money which staff can use for healthcare expenses. These are all very lofty goals, we will start small and work our way up, but we believe the community support is there.
We are in awe of and so thankful for the support we've received over the years. If you are a member of our community, either because you've lived here for many years or you came here one summer and discovered how magical this place is, we thank you. We'd be grateful if you would consider continuing to supporting us in this new adventure.
For as little as $3 a month, you too can join the ranks of patrons and help us continue to serve our community with books!
Here we acknowledge those who support us by donating to our Patreon. Thank you to: