The Long & The Short Of It:
We want to bring what we've done here in Brooklyn over the past 30 years, to another community, a little ways North, but we need your help to make it happen! Recently, the legendary Bibliobarn property in New York's Catskill Mountains was put up for sale. We've developed a plan to purchase the place and convert it into a bookshop, event space, and writers' retreat, and create what we're calling BookCourt North! If you know BookCourt, are passionate about independent bookstores and what they stand for, or know firsthand the importance of literature, art, and community resources, then we're asking for your help in making our most ambitious project to date become a reality. Join us!
Here's The Deal:
Bibliobarn is a massive bookstore in a restored 1873 barn, 160 Miles North of Brooklyn, in South Kortright, New York. Nestled in the Western Catskill Mountains, Bibliobarn is in close proximity to a number of colleges and universities. It’s 50 miles North-West of Woodstock, 80 miles South-West of Albany, and 70 miles North-West of Bard College. It’s location that is as accessible as it is beautiful. The barn is 3,000 square-feet and sits on 5 acres of flatland, which has for years been used to organically farm. ( View property photo gallery )
Bibliobarn is known for its incredible used & rare book selection, cozy atmosphere, and very warm welcomes from owners, H.L & Linda Wilson, who opened shop in 1996. They live on the top floor, amongst the books. The Wilson's are the ultimate book people and the ultimate couple.
They've had a successful run, take pride in having helped establish the nearby town of Hobart as an official book village, and have become pillars of the region's literary and creative community. Having built their customer base substantially over the past sixteen years, they've attracted a die hard following, similar to what BookCourt has done in Brooklyn. Many will attest, that walking into Bibliobarn, gives the feeling of entering a transcendental place.
Recently, the Wilson’s made the big decision to put the Bibliobarn property up for sale and, once sold, move to the nearby town of Margaretville, where things are slightly more metropolitan. The Wilson’s, however, want to see the literary legacy of their now famous barn continue, if at all possible. We feel that it would be a shame if this property didn't continue in some form or fashion that does justice to its reputation as a paramount literary destination.
We saw this as the perfect opportunity to embark on an Indiegogo crowd-funding campaign that will act to raise funds for the purchase of the famous Bibliobarn property and open BookCourt North.
Here’s Our Plan:
The ground floor of the barn will continue, just as it has for 16 years, to operate as a bookshop. We’ll maintain and enhance the store's charming atmosphere and wisely expand on the book selection. We'll add a selection of new-books and additional genres and sections. Down the line, we may open a cafe.
We vow to support the burgeoning literary community and are excited to learn as much as we can about Bibliobarn's customers and friends. We will keep Bibliobarn's customer base abreast of ideas and developments, and we'll meet with community members and Bibliobarn customers to share ideas. We'll also network like crazy in NYC and the Catskills to make BookCourt North a centralized location not just for books, but for everything that inspires them.
We will launch a much desired event series on site. We understand that many in the area have long desired a space dedicated to readings, discussion groups, and other performances. We're very eager to make this happen, and it's one of the first things on our list, but we won’t just be doing things inside the barn. The nearly five acres of land that accompanies will allow us opportunities in the years to come to host festivals and large scale events, which will draw people from all over the region to Bibliobarn, Hobart and to the Western Catskills. The big picture is truly exciting.
We know what we are doing when it comes to connecting with literary community, selling books, and hosting events. This is what our careers are built upon. We're confident that BookCourt North will compliment the Wilson’s vision and the expectations of its broad and loyal customer base. This is the perfect opportunity to align BookCourt with an incredible existing platform.
Here’s where our vision gets really exciting:
We will convert the upstairs of the barn into residency space for a fully functioning and professionally managed writers’ retreat / residency. With 25 foot ceilings and loft space, it will be easy to host 6+ writers' in residence at a time.
Residency programs and retreats for creative individuals are very important. For those who live in a city, these destinations can be life changing in terms of project accomplishment.
Out on the property, we will build writers' sheds and other small encampments, that will actively enhance the distraction-free atmosphere for our writers, who will not only be utilizing the top floor of the barn to work on their projects, but the land as well.
What We Need & What You'll Get
Firstly, financial support is needed to make this a reality. Our vision is energized, but we need folks to pool their resources to bring this into fruition. Our Indiegogo fundraising goal is $300K, which will allow the purchase of the property for the Wilson’s asking price of $260K, and provide necessary funds to renovate, clean, furnish, and upgrade the space. What we raise above our $300K goal will be utilized to further enhance the property. All developments will be documented online! We will publish a blog called Building BookCourt North, which will promote our project development, community relations, literary happenings, and more.
It is crucial that you support this campaign in different ways. We ask that you to do the following:
- Fund the Campaign
- Talk it Up
- Get in Touch
Fund The campaign:
Your donation will go directly to making this project a reality. We need monetary support to make this happen. Without donors, it'll fail.
Pledge $3 dollars. Pledge $1,000 dollars. It’s not about how much you alone contribute. It’s that in fact you do. Check out the perks we’re offering. There is more in this than just the satisfaction of contributing money to an awesome project. We are rewarding our donors with a ton of cool merchandise and interactive opportunities.
Talk it Up:
Whether or not you contribute to this campaign financially, it’s imperative that you speak up for it. Talk to people about what we are doing and why it’s important. Talk to people about why projects like this are important for society in general. Share our campaign through social media outlets and email. Call your grandmother and tell her about it. Mention it to any creative individuals you know; writers, artists, film people. Do whatever you possibly can to make members in your community, physical and online, aware that we are working toward something critical, important, and empowering for the literary community, book lovers, and people everywhere. The more people you engage about this project, the more the chance of this dream becoming a reality. Projects like this change many lives!
Take 5 minutes to share this campaign online through social media and email. This will expand our reach tremendously. What if everyone you exposed this to did the same thing, and then their people did the same thing? We need to send this this down the rabbit hole! Copy the link at the end of this paragraph and post it everywhere: Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr ... wherever you can. Do the very same thing in an email addressed to all of your closest friends, family, or creative partners. Tell them you found a project you believe in and that you're spreading the word about it because you hope this goal is reached. Encourage them to click that link and check out the campaign.
If you would like to help our exposure even further, we will happily send you postcards and other printed promotions that you can display at various outposts in your community. Cafes, schools, bookstores, etc. Wherever you can think would be a good spot, let us know!
Get In Touch:
Do you have ideas that you want to share with us? We want to hear them! You can get in touch with Zack Zook & Andrew Unger directly. No matter how big or small the concept, we want to know what people are thinking, as we're interested in making only the very best decisions for this campaign, and for BookCourt North. We want to include as many people as possible in these endeavors.
A direct relationship and collaboration is a fantastic way you can support our mission. Shape the vision of this project and the great things we have ahead of us. Get in touch!
BookCourt is a family-run bookstore in Brooklyn, New York, serving the community of Cobble Hill for over 30 years. Since opening, BookCourt has not only been our home, but the home to countless readers, writers, and artists across the city. We are dedicated to community, to the love of books, and to the people who read them, write them, publish them, and share them.
We have made many unique developments in the past few years, and we plan to continue our progressive pursuit of providing the NYC literary community with all we can, as fast as we can.
In 2008, we added a 2000sqft space, that we call the Greenhouse. It’s one of the largest event spaces of any bookstore in NYC. This space made it possible to double our store inventory and launch a now unrivaled literary events series, providing the community the chance to interact with new and emerging writers and artists 7 days a week. We often host up to 40 events per month.
People are drawn to independent bookstores not only for reading materials, but for the intangibles. Yes, we specialize in books, but we’re much more. We’re a community resource, inspiring and propelling an ongoing dialog of art, literature, and their place in society. Our goal is to send people away gratified, even if we don't have the book they're looking for. We're a refuge not simply for literature, but for information, for conversation, for community, for contact.
We have several different book clubs, reflecting the wide array of interest. As we move forward, we will continue to build on the foundation of these groups, adding more reading groups, and even workshops, as we continue to grow.
We founded Cousin Corinne’s Reminder, a publishing project that features Brooklyn and International talent, including new writing, art, and photography. We're at work on our 4th issue. Additionally, the success of Corinne has led to an in-development line of paperback original books, which we hope to launch by 2015.
Thanks to customer support, BookCourt is growing now more than ever. Here’s what’s coming:
This Spring we launched a Literary Walking Tour in partnership with the folks at Literary Pub Crawl, which will give people the chance to tour Brooklyn's literary history firsthand. A great way for visitors to get acquainted with the rich history of our neighborhood.
We're making many of our events available as audio podcasts, available through out website. You'll soon be able to listen to engaging readings and discussions, at home or on the go.
We are re-opening our basement space, which will act as a secondary events space, housing a series of workshops, classes, and our various book clubs. This will also allow us to expand our kids & teen book selection substantially.
We will open a small cafe/bar in our Greenhouse, which will offer local wines, brews, coffee, and simple snacks. Accompanying this development will be our Reader's Garden, a 2,000 square-foot outdoor space, offering folks a quality city-garden enviroment, where folks can sit, read, sip, and talk.
All of this will enhance our event series and customer experiences even more!