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Show Reading Frenzy some love

March 28, 2007

thumb_reading_frenzy_storefront.jpgReading Frenzy is the bomb-diggity of all independent book/zine stores.  All of us here in Portland know this, and those of you outside of this pleasure-palace ought to know too.

The deets:

Founded in 1994, Reading Frenzy is devoted to supporting, promoting and disseminating independent and alternative media, with a focus on arts, culture, politics, comics, girl’s stuff, queer notions, and quality smut. We stock thousands of hard to find titles from around the country, host dozens of literary and art events every year, and support local community organizations who share our goals of fostering freedom of speech, information and creative expression.

Unfortunately, owner Chloe has run into some tough times and is struggling to keep the bookstore open, mostly because of increases in rent (which is a function of improvements and time, not necessarily a bad landlord, so keep your picket signs in the closet for now).  What they really need now is your business.  In an open letter on her site, Chloe says:

We’re rounding the corner on our 13th year, and while I’m not particularily superstitious, it does seem to be adding up to a rather unlucky phase in our long, illustrious history. A series of unfortunate events, both business and personal, have brought us to a critical juncture and we need your support to see us through.

She is otherwise fairly vague, so Portland Mercury’s Chas Bowie did some work and she said a little more about what’s going on:

 I started Reading Frenzy in 1994 with $4,000. That’s about $46,000 less than most people think you need to launch a small bookstore. It’s been a constant struggle to slowly grow the store and the cash flow has always been clunky. This leads to periods such as the one we’re in now—not enough money to buy enough inventory to sell to make enough money to pay off vendors in order to buy more inventory (repeat ad infinitum).

I went there during lunch today and bought a neat memoir and a book about words.  You should head over too and do some good trading for zines and locally published books to keep this great bookstore alive.   As for you out-of-towners, you’re lucky because you can buy a select number of goods directly from their web shoppe.

In whatever way that works for you, go give the zinestore some love.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. luminaria permalink
    March 29, 2007 9:16 am

    Thanks for the heads up. I’m heading over to Reading Frenzy asap with some money, and might not be seen for weeks.

  2. April 1, 2007 3:03 pm

    Thanks for this! I went in the other day and can definitely tell their inventory is down. Despite that I still found a couple of great books that needed a good home.

    I definitely want to support Powell’s, but Powell’s has all kinds of visibility and support that a smaller gem like Reading Frenzy just doesn’t have access to. From now on when I’m making my way to Powell’s I’m going to stop by Reading Frenzy and Counter Media first. If they don’t have what I’m looking for they’ll probably have something that I didn’t know I was looking for. And they can probably special order what I was looking for if I don’t have to have it right that minute.

  3. April 5, 2007 2:29 am

    Little stores are a dying breed.

    People who make stores for what they love lead happy impoverished lives unless they’re good at “it”. In this case (business), the It must include your love (books) and Business savvy. Proof that the demand creates supply negating Say’s Law!

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