Bookstores
Jun 04, 2014

Exciting News For Astoria Bookshop

Have you heard the good news? Best-selling author James Patterson is giving away $1 million dollars in grants to indie bookstores, and our very own Astoria Bookshop is one of (…)

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Have you heard the good news? Best-selling author James Patterson is giving away $1 million dollars in grants to indie bookstores, and our very own Astoria Bookshop is one of the lucky recipients! We sat down with owner Lexi Beach to find out more about her good news! -Mackenzi

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How did you find out about the grant, and what was the process for applying like? How much did the community’s input matter (if at all)?

James Patterson has been promoting this campaign really loudly, and I’d heard about it through publishing industry news. The first round of grants was given out in February and covered pretty widely, at least within the book world. Every time Patterson appeared on CBS Sunday Morning to talk about it, a family friend would ask if I’d applied.

But truthfully, there was no application process. I entered my name and contact information and the name of the store on Patterson’s website, and then, many weeks later, got an email telling me that I’d been awarded one of the grants. All I know is that the grant decisions were the result of “rave reviews,” as well as recommendations from publishers and authors. I’m feeling very lucky to have such strong supporters out there!

How much grant money will you receive?

The grant we’re receiving is for $3,500.

What will you be spending your grant money on?

I’m still deciding how best to use the grant, but a portion of it will go towards equipment to help streamline the many school book fairs we’ve been doing in the neighborhood. A barcode scanner and receipt printer don’t sound like exciting things, but it will make that part of the business much simpler to manage. I’m also considering acoustic grade storm windows, which would minimize the intrusion of the subway noise every time a train goes by and cut down on heating and cooling costs. It sounds so boring, but those changes would make the Bookshop a better place.

Anything else you want WHA readers to know?

Thank you to everyone who’s written a good review of the store on our Facebook page or on Yelp, everyone who’s told their friends and neighbors about the store, and everyone who continues to shop here and attend our events. I feel incredibly lucky to have such a large and supportive community helping to make sure that Astoria has a bookstore for many years to come.

And if you haven’t been here recently, come on over to 31st Street to browse the shelves, to attend a reading, or a workshop—there are new books arriving every day and events happening every week!

One Comment

Brian E. Denton

Well deserved. Both Lexi and Astoria Bookshop are great. Great news.

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