Bookstore & Expansion
Bookmarks' nonprofit independent bookstore and gathering space opened on July 8, 2017!
We started the upfit process at our future home in early February of 2017 and were excited to open on Saturday, July 8. The Board of Directors officially voted to end our Building Fund Capital Campaign in early May of 2017, and we are so grateful to the community for their support! Individuals, foundations, and sponsors came together to help us reach our goal!
You can still support Bookmarks throughout the year as our programming - and work toward our mission - goes on! If you are a part of a business that is interested in sponsoring Bookmarks, contact Ginger Hendricks, Executive Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also help Bookmarks by making a tax deductible donation which will continue to help us with our outreach. Please click here to donate!
Our new home includes movable bookcases that allow us to accommodate 75 people for events as well as a conference and writing room that holds 20 – 25 people around meeting tables. We have a dynamic children’s area that hosts regular storytimes and events. We upfitted a building from the early 1930’s which was formerly a garage that needed quite a lot of work but is now a wonderful gathering place. And, 100% of the profits will fund Bookmarks’ mission of connecting readers with authors and books.
The increased book sales will expand the quality of authors that will visit our book festival (the largest in the Carolinas), our authors in schools program (which reaches 7,000 students annually), and participate in our year-round author talks. Having a brick and mortar, physical space will allow us to double our annual outreach to 100 + events a year to over 50,000.
- This new space incorporates Bookmarks' offices, a meeting and conference room, and a nonprofit independent bookstore. By selling books, we will increase the quality of our authors who will participate in our programs and who will visit Winston-Salem.
- In the past, we could not hold as many events because we had to pay for space rentals, etc. This will open up the opportunities to have niche authors for 20 attendees as well as larger events for 75.
- Bookmarks will not handle the café as this is outside our talents and interests; however, we want to have this amenity to enhance peoples' reading and writing experiences in our new space. Coffee, beer, and wine will be served along with lunch and other snacks by Foothill's Brewery, who will rent the adjacent space and use it for event space, which Bookmarks will have access to for occasional programming.
- Our budget includes four months of expenses in reserves, so we can be as fiscally responsible as possible.
- We have been selling books for over three years now, and this has been part of our strategic plan since 2011. This is a natural next step for our organization.
- Publishers send authors on tours to independent bookstores, so having a retail space allows us to host more authors without paying speaker or travel fees - which is our current way of operating and helps continue to make our nonprofit's dollars go further.
- More authors visiting Winston-Salem and our community means more authors who can participate in the Authors in Schools program.
- A space open year-round helps us promote the Festival, our Summer Reading Program, and many other events.
- The children's area in the retail space allows us to greatly increase children's programming
- We want people to read books and we are committed to breaking down the barriers that prevent that—whether those barriers are apathy, the lack of a place to get good advice and buy good books, the need for a community of fellow readers, or illiteracy. Our Authors in Schools and Summer Reading programs as well as cooperation with other organizations help promote literacy.
Photo: Jeff Nienaber, 2017.