Monday, December 30, 2013

Thoughtful Customers


 Food For Thought Books ends the year on a positive note

Food For Thought Books will live to see their 38th year in business thanks to generous customers who came together via the Indiegogo fundraising site to the tune of over $40,000.  Not bad considering the goal was $38,000.  Actually not bad period. 



The left of center bookstore has been a mainstay in the downtown since the early 1970s back before Al Gore invented the Internet.  But now, everything has changed -- and bookstores, newspapers and video rental stores are under the gun.  More like an assault rifle. 



Meanwhile just around the corner, fair and balanced Amherst Books -- also in a building owned by Barry Roberts -- seems to be weathering the storm. 

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Actually book stores or the independent variety are actually growing in number not shrinking.

From NPR:

With another holiday shopping season on the horizon, one group of retailers is doing better than you might expect. Despite intense competition from Amazon and big box retailers, independent bookstores are enjoying a bit of a renaissance.

Larry Kelley said...

"That which does not kill you makes you stronger."

Anonymous said...

I could think of many more beneficial places in this town for $40,000 of fundraising to go to than this. Welcome to Amherst, again.....and again.....and aga......

Amherst citizens would bail a fly out of poop if they thought it were a victim in the slightest degree.

Maybe if we weren't wasting so much on, well everything from school administrators to 50 million committees we'd have money in our pockets to spend in these establishments. Their own expenses would be lower and perhaps that'd be enough to survive without this bail-out.

Anonymous said...

we must already have money in our pockets, valley gives raised a cool 2 million in 24 hours recently.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Anon @2:40, I think this is a pretty good deal : $40,000 to keep a local, independent bookstore where you can find books and magazines that are nowhere else and which keeps our had earned dollars IN TOWN as opposed to some big multinational corporation that doesn't give two Sh*ts about Amherst. A lot better than bailouts of "too big to fail" banks.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:24, I agree with Anon 2:40. If it takes $40K to keep a business open then that business either isn't doing something right, isn't offering a product that is in sufficient demand in these changing times, or both. Therefore, a longer term, broader reaching investment for that $40K might be better.

Anonymous said...

All over town, some of the businesses in Barry Roberts owned buildings are paying greatly reduced rent. He really goes out of his way for them and seeks no publicity or accolades for it. He's quite a guy.

Anonymous said...

Could you tell us some of the businesses?

Walter Graff said...

Amherst... the only town that will go out of their way to support business' that couldn't survive on their own, but will do whatever it can to prevent business'that can thrive and generate jobs and income from even opening.

Anonymous said...

the town didn't support food for thought books, private individuals did, some of whom i'm certain don't even live in amherst.

Walter Graff said...

Like I said Amherst, the only town where people would rather support non viable business models because the death of a book store in a intellectual driven town is unthinkable... understandable.

“The books are to remind us what asses and fool we are. They're Caeser's praetorian guard, whispering as the parade roars down the avenue, "Remember, Caeser, thou art mortal." Most of us can't rush around, talking to everyone, know all the cities of the world, we haven't time, money or that many friends. The things you're looking for, Montag, are in the world, but the only way the average chap will ever see ninety-nine per cent of them is in a book. Don't ask for guarantees. And don't look to be saved in any one thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing you were headed for shore.”
― Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:41. I understand your point, but many institutions (i.e. non-profits) that provide services not available otherwise or supported by a market economy depend on contributions from "people." FFT provides a service to many in this community and beyond. I was happy to donate to their survival as, unlike many larger businesses, they do not have the cash flow to get ten through a rough period.

Walter Graff said...

Just goes to show you what we learn in so many areas, there is room for everyone. Some like big box, some like e-books, some like audio books, and others the independent experience. They said LP records would die too. There is a rather large market for it to this day. TV was supposed to die 100 times so far and is still as popular as ever. Car radios too, but they ain't going anywhere.

We live in an analog world and while digital is cool there is nothing more satisfying for most than to turn a page of paper. The industry says that 64% of people still prefer real books to anything else.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 2:40 money was raised to the tune of $5K+ to restore a fence around Miss Emily's grave last spring. $65K so someone who has been dead for over 150 year's can have some privacy.

FFT Books may not make it in the long-term but they do bring in speakers that bring in people and helps the local businesses when those people stick around to eat and shop. (and get parking tickets)

Anonymous said...

Wonderful, people gave $40k and today they lost half their store to All Things Local. I saw Bergoff moving bookcases out and contractors ready to demo wall.

Larry Kelley said...

That was part of the reorganization plan, so those who donated were aware of it.

Anonymous said...

Were those who donated made aware of the short and long term viability of the establishment's business model? We're those who donated told specifically in which way(s) their donation was to be used to successfully implement said business model? Did the owner(s) clearly present the establishment's financials when requesting donations to justify the need? Did anyone ask these questions?

Larry Kelley said...

With all due respect counselor, yes.