The last three months since the Collective has taken over the bookshop have been extremely challenging with many difficult surprises. However, one surprise has developed into an amazing opportunity to take the Collective forward and further our mission of bringing speakers, authors, and events to New London.
On Sunday, November 23rd, we will be leaving 38 Green Street and moving into the Mezzanine Level of the New London Antique Center at 123 Bank Street. This very exciting change will provide us with the same amount of space as we have at the old location, with access to the the Antique Center’s coffee shop and sharing their considerable traffic. Even better, the Antique Center has a central cash register station for all of the content providers there, meaning that our volunteers can focus on sorting books and running events, but that the store will be open during regular hours with perfect reliability.
With this opportunity comes a great challenge. We have one day to move everything in the old store to the new store. We will be gathering at 9:00 AM at 38 Green Street to start the migration of 25,000 books and 3 dozen pieces of furniture. Many hands make light work, so we ask that anyone who is able come by to help us. Whether you can help for an hour or be there all day, we could use your help. In thanks, we will provide refreshments, and you can help yourself to a bag of books.
To lighten our moving load, we are marking down every book in the shop to $1 until we move. That means you can fill a bag of books for under $20. Come on in, buy some cheap books, and help the Collective get off to an exciting new start.
To RSVP to help moving, visit our Facebook Event. Even if you don’t get the chance to RSVP, feel free to just show up. We enjoy the surprise of your company.
The time has come to kick our nonprofit transition into high gear. With coverage in place, we are now in a position to run a large scale clearance event to raise capital and give the collective the resources it needs to launch boldly into the future.
Starting now, and through the entire month of October, the entire inventory of the Monte Cristo Collective Bookshop (excluding consigned books) is being sold at reduced prices. The best part is that this means that you can do your part to help the new collective just by coming down and buying lots of books at unusually low prices.
The first meeting about forming the Monte Cristo Collective Bookshop was August 5th, 45 days ago, and the Collective took over on August 23rd, 27 days ago. The Collective took over with $34 in the till, a team that consisted of a hair over half a dozen people, a shop too hot to be occupied for any length of time, and an idea.
The goal was that the shop would eventually be open 77 hours a week and become a financially secure institution.
At this point, over 40 volunteers have offered their assistance with about 5 new volunteers signing up each week, and next week we will have 44 hours covered. We have an author coming in tomorrow afternoon to speak on a fascinating topic. We have a great team forming to bring an amazing array of events in the future.
Our thanks to our Membership Manager Alison Downs for organizing these 44 hours, and I look forward to seeing 77 hours on the schedule shortly.
We still have some major challenges, but I would say that we’ve come a long way in 45 days.
We’ve had some folks ask how they can become members of our new collective. There are two ways to do it. First, you can drop by the shop when it’s open. Alternatively, you can buy membership online through our GoFundMe page.
Memberships are $60 for a year, $200 for 5 years, or $350 for life. Members get 10% off new books, 20% off used books, voting privileges, and other benefits.
Some people have expressed concerns that such a new enterprise may or may not make it. Fear not. If the Collective does end up shutting down, your membership dues are convertible to merchandise (prorated $60 per year elapsed).
You can find our GoFundMe page here.