Congratulations to Wide World Books & Maps, Seattle, Wash.: the store’s GoFundMe campaign has met its $30,000 fundraising goal. “This means we’ll be staying open and will be restocking the store with the latest travel books, maps, and gear over the next few weeks,” the store said in its newsletter. “Thank you so much for all the support over the past two months–the store will survive because of our loyal customers, and we really appreciate all you’ve done!”
The store has sold most of the 10 Rick Steves tours that were available. Only two of the seven-day tours of Istanbul, London, Paris or Rome, not including airfare, are still available, for a donation of $2,000. Including the tours, the store has raised almost $50,000.
Wide World Books & Maps had planned to close earlier this year, but owner Julie Hunt said that she changed her mind after “hundreds of customers and travel professionals came forward to share their love for the store and many asked if there was anything they could do to help keep it open.” She was also swayed in part by Seattle Mystery Bookshop’s successful crowdfunding campaign that saved the store.
Billie Swift is the new owner of Open Books
We reported at the beginning of this month that Open Books owner John Marshall was in the “closing stages” of selling his poetry bookshop to a new owner. The closing stages have finally closed, and in an email to customers last night, Marshall finally revealed the new owner’s name:
We are exceedingly happy to announce that the next owner of Open Books: A Poem Emporium will be Billie Swift. She has been an avid customer for years, has a sharp and inquiring mind, and is a truly engaging soul. We cannot imagine a better person to be entrusted with the future of Open Books. The actual change in ownership will take place at the end of August, but Ms. Swift will be a fixture in and around the store from now until then. Of course, we’ll have a celebratory ceremony/party near the date of transfer, and we’ll count on your presence then, either in body or spirit. Between now and then, you’ll have ample opportunity to see us all (including on occasion Christine, who does the bookkeeping and pops in now and then). Please know that the store you love is still here and will go on, with your continued care and support. The amazing journey continues!
We’re arranging an interview with Swift now, and we’ll bring it to you soon. So many questions remain — what will she change about the store, what will stay the same — but for the moment, literary Seattle should take a breath and relax; one of a handful of poetry-only bookshops in America will continue under new ownership. This is exciting news! –Paul Constant