Have you heard of Indiegogo or Kickstarter? They're internet platforms whereby people who are trying to raise funds for a project can collection donations toward their goal. Early this year a new bookstore opened in Chicago with the help of such a campaign. That would be Uncharted Books which was recently voted Chicago's best new bookstore by the Chicago Reader.
Gina Holmes and Chris Jones are in the process of opening the Monte Cristo Bookshop which will be the only bookstore in New London, Connecticut. They need to raise $10,000 by July 31, 2012. I don't know Gina or Chris, I live about 900 miles away in Illinois, and although I am planning to move to Connecticut sometime in the future, I don't know if I'll be near New London or not.
So why donate?
Because who doesn't want to see more bookstores in the world, especially those that seek to be actively engaged in their communities? Because resources like Indiegogo and Kickstarter are beacons of hope for people with a dream, and who doesn't like to support dreams that are in-line with one's own values? Gina and Chris have put themselves out there and asked for help from strangers. It also seems like they have done their homework and have a plan (the link below has details).
You can donate as little as $5 to help the Monte Cristo Bookshop open its doors. As of July 21 people have donated $6,382. They have 11 days left to raise $3,618. If they don't make it to $10,000 everyone gets their money back. If they do make the $10,000, you'll know that you've helped open a bookstore that will hopefully be around for many years to come. It will certainly be a place that fosters a love for reading and life-long learning.
Go to this link for more information--http://www.indiegogo.com/montecristobookshop--watch the video, click links to related newspaper stories, and then donate if you can. If you can't, at least head over to their Facebook page and wish them luck.
FYI: I found out about this project via Shelf Awareness, an informative and free book related e-newsletter. Nobody knows I'm writing this post and I'm not getting any sort of kick back.