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Kepler's launches fundraising campaign

Original post made on May 23, 2012

Taking Kepler's Books into its new phase of life will cost money, and the transition team behind the revisioning of the iconic bookstore hopes the community will help make it happen.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, May 22, 2012, 10:47 AM

Comments (8)

Posted by Interested
a resident of another community
on May 23, 2012 at 7:20 pm

I want to know how much of this million dollars will go to Kepler himself. At least this time the employees have some notice that the bookstore cannot maintain itself.....The last time, Kepler just locked the doors and the employees found out they were out of work when they turned up and the doors were locked.........Search the Almanac archives, they have photographs....

If this business cannot survive without "donations", then it should go away...Life is tough...

Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on May 23, 2012 at 7:33 pm

I have yet to read a compelling argument why people should once again bail out Kepler's.

Hey, my dogs - all street dogs - are aging & need vet care. Anyone want to donate? It's time for my car to have a tune up - anyone want to donate? I'd like to take a vacation this summer - anyone want to donate? How about sponsoring me for the next Slow Food Movement conference in Italy? I'll send you a postcard! Sheesh. I've shopped at Kepler's since I was a young 'un but I'm tired of this. But seriously - what are the compelling reasons, if any, to give them transition money?

Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on May 23, 2012 at 7:44 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

This is what Kepler's should be doing, not banging a beggar's cup:

Waterstones, the last major independent bookstore chain in the U.K., will begin selling Amazon Kindles and e-books in its nearly 300 stores this fall, the companies announced today.

Although Kindles are sold in a variety of bricks-and-mortar retailers, this is the first time that the e-readers are available in traditional bookstores. The deal is all the more striking because there were long-running rumors that Barnes & Noble was seeking to make a deal with Waterstones to sell its Nook in the company’s stores and because James Daunt, who was appointed managing director of Waterstones last July, has been highly critical of Amazon (Shelf Awareness, June 6, 2011).

Daunt told the Bookseller that the deal is a “no brainer” because the Kindle is the e-reader that most British consumers want. He added that Waterstones had waited too long to develop its own device and that negotiations with Amazon started only recently.

Waterstones will share in revenue of sales in its stores, including e-books ordered via store wi-fi, which is being added later this year.

Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 23, 2012 at 7:46 pm

I hate to say it, but times change. Bookstores are no longer relevant to the vast majority of us. That is why Keplers can't survive without "donations." If they can't survive without donations then they are done. It's too bad, but that's the reality. Ask Borders. ebooks are it and if you can't get it in an ebook you can usually find it somewhere in print on line. The only thing that remains remotely relevent are used book stores.

My wife won't read ebooks. She buys the majority her hard bound books on line. I buy ebooks. I usually have multiple books going at the same time. I read what I like whatever the mood I'm in. I couldn't possibly carry all of the books I've got going at one time.

Book Stores are an anachronism.

Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on May 25, 2012 at 6:03 pm

MV - I love bookstores. I don't think they're yet an anachronism, even w/the expense. I wonder how Books, Inc. is doing, for example? I still haunt bookstores as much as possible, as do many of my friends & family members. I do some e-reading & it has its pros & cons, just like books do.

I know a local author who did a free giveaway of his latest thriller via Kindle & it shot WAY up on Amazon's bestsellers. I'd paid for my electronic copy & recommended it as a free book to a lot of friends. Turns out, many of them didn't know that you can use the Nook or Kindle app free on your phone & computer. I think once people start to realize this more, e books will hit another growth spurt.

What I get in convenience & less cost, I miss in the sight, texture & handling of an actual book. I also prefer to get kids their books in physical form because then they're not technology dependent. Some of my fave childhood books are more precious to me because of their obvious age. They also served as evidence of landmarks when I'd hit a certain age or go through a rite of passage. Maybe some day e books will do that, but I'm just not sure.

So my jury's still out, but I totally grok you re used book stores. I've read some unforgettable stories from used bookstores that compelled me to track the author down & write to them - & most have written back.

My spouse won't use e books at all, probably because he needs a break from all of his computer work.

I gotta wonder about this strategy of getting on the hook the "community" when the majority of the $$ is coming from wealthy donors. Why not make it all wealthy donors? I think that's what our animal shelter did & it was successful. I put my sweat where my mouth is - in addition to my tax $$ - for our county shelter - that's my thing & I don't have the wealth of a capital donor. But the shelter was not in the red, either. I suspect Clark has been the wrong guy to run the place - he doesn't seem to have the savvy needed for this millenium, but it's taken them a long time to figure that out.

We wish them the best of luck & will be a customer in whatever form they take. But no donations from us - after all, we have vet bills to pay that we would never ask "the community" to pay on our behalf even though we do volunteer work every day in our community. I'd hate to have to rely on the kindness of strangers for my financial survival.

Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 25, 2012 at 6:22 pm


I don't think for profit businesses should be asking for donations from the community for their support. If they can't run a profitable business then they go under. That's the way capitalism works. Sometimes it's not pretty and sometimes people suffer (a la our last recession), but it's still the most free system there is. There is no point, in my opinion, to support a business that the market will not support with its business. We live in a technically savvy area. I suspect this area is even more ripe for the demise of the traditional bookstore than anywhere else in the country.

I buy my books and read them on the ipad now. I also get my newspaper that way too. I clung to the physical newspaper for a long time until I tried it on the ipad becasue it was free. I found I liked it more than the paper version. Also, when I travel, I can take an ipad full of books and read whatever strikes my fancy without lugging 100 pounds of books around with me.

The only thing I have found that doesn't translate well to an ereader is the coffee table book.

Book stores are quickly becoming an anachronism as are libraries. I predict that in 20 years neither will exist.

Posted by Hmmm
a resident of another community
on May 29, 2012 at 6:34 pm

Has anyone else gotten their mailing from Kepler's asking for support? We received ours today.

MV - I'm w/you on coffee table books not working on e-readers! I love the free Kindle & Nook apps for my laptop & phone. I also use the library a lot & as a bibliophile I love physical books. But there seems to be so much wrong w/Kepler's model - starting w/the size of the store, the uneven help from staff & the Kumbaya approach to business in these tough times.

In this electronic age, I've seen an increase in requests for handouts - & not from nonprofits or other community groups. Books, Inc. doesn't seem to have the problems does. I know it's a chain, but I don't know the other differences in their business model - & they're not 1m in the red, either, I would hope.

Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on May 29, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Sorry, but Keplers is a for profit business that has not kept up with the times. Perhaps when it closed, it should have stayed closed. My wife, who won't read anything but books on paper, will not buy books there. She says they don't usually have the latest books she likes, so she usually gets her books from Borders. I don't buy anything printed on paper anymore, even the newspaper, so I don't buy books there either. Haven't in a long time. When a business fails to provide what its potential customers want, they're done. Readings by authors and other things are all nice, but they don't sell books to anyone that isn't already interested in buying that author's work. I'd even posit that the people that go to those things have already bought the work the author is flogging and are just there for a signature. Cost to put on event $. Actual sales ? Keplers should be allowed to go the way of other failed businesses.

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