Posted by Firefly Bookstore on January 28, 2017
It's true; after 4 years in our current location in downtown Kutztown PA, we had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to purchase a fantastic building, just down the block that will give us 3X the room! It will be over 3000 square feet for more books, more events and more resources for the community. We have some amazing stuff planned!
So now we have to move.
Putting together an amazing collection of over 50,000 books and games is no small thing. Actually moving an entire bookstore we would describe as a Herculean task. And as neither of us are Greek demigods, we are going need some help.
So who are we?
Firefly Bookstore was opened in 2012 by two experienced and enthusiastic book aficionados. From the beginning , the partners had a clear vision for the store, and they knew how they wanted to integrate with the community. The Kutztown residents and students in turn have been welcoming and enthusiastic about our store from the very beginning. Now we have the chance to take it to the next level, to offer even more to the region.
Our goal was to build a resource that would touch all members of this college town, from young families to older couples, to professionals and teachers, and to students and 20-somethings. A store for everyone, but in particular a store for people who are enthusiastic (dare we say even a bit geeky) about things. Games, comics, sci-fi, fantasy, mysteries, history, cooking, cars, trains, planes, gardening, self-sufficiency and more.
It's a home for Doctor Who, and Sherlock and Alice. It's a home for Grant and Lee, Einstein and DeGrasse-Tyson, King and Lovecraft, Matisse and Warhol, Nora Roberts and Jojo Moyes. It's meant to be a home for everyone, really. And boy, has that home gotten PACKED!
OK - So what do we need?
Well, simply put, we need the resources to move boxes and boxes of books. Even though it's only a block down and across the street, everything needs to be organized, scanned into inventory, packed, and sent on its way with its bookcase.
We're hoping for volunteers of course, but for every $10 we can raise, that's an hour of strong young backs that we can hire. We need to build a small dedicated group to help us move, and that's what the money will go to support.
All right, what else are we doing?
Anything else we can raise goes toward a very important building improvement: handicap accessibility.
Currently at 271 there are steps at both the front and rear entrances to the store. There's space to build a ramp at the back, and/or possibly a lift at the front. To do either of those options will require more than just basic renovations; they will be an engineering project. Even a simple ramp at the back door will require changes to the doorway, significant improvements to the walkway from the rear parking lot and a properly constructed landing and ramp inside to conform to ADA and local building code standards.
It's a BIG project and one that we feel is critical to meet the needs of our customers. But it's going to be expensive and while there are some grants and tax-saving opportunities, there will still be costs carried by us to make it possible for EVERYONE to come into our store. So anything that we can raise above our moving expenses will be used for that purpose.
We're already adding an ADA-compliant bathroom to the renovation costs, so building accessibility into our store is something that we are determined to do. We're hoping that crowd-funding will help us make it happen sooner.
Where's the new place going to be?
Firefly Bookstore 2.0 will be at 271 West Main Street, Kutztown. We already own the building, and we are currently working on the renovations. While we have carefully budgeted ourselves to complete the storefront so it can become our new home, we had hoped that we could count on the community to help us with the last 100 feet of our journey. We're already getting volunteers, but it's going to take a bit more than that to make it happen.
Firefly intends to be open regular hours at their current location until the larger space is ready to be occupied. We have some changes and furnishings to set up and some great new features to put in place before we can move. The partners anticipate that they will be able to have the renovations completed by March, 2017. We want the business’ downtime to be as short as possible.
Being a great bookstore...
...is more than just being a great business. It's also about how we are able to affect the lives around us. Maybe it's just light entertainment, a bit of escapism. Or maybe it's a memory you carry for the rest of your life. Or perhaps on our shelves you find just the tool needed at the right time. Bookstores can be all that and more. If we can build the right kind of space, a safe welcoming place for everyone, then that will be an accomplishment all of its own. Your support can make it happen.