The Book House in Rock Hill, (a suburb of St. Louis) has been an iconic community independent bookstore for over 30 years, selling new, used, and unusual books. We are located in an historic Victorian gothic revival house, built in 1863 and sitting on historic Route 66.
The Book House also works with several charities such as Second Chapter, and The Children's Home Society, who provide community support to children and young adults with special needs. A portion of sales go to these charities. The owner, a single mother with a disabled child, is also a big advocate for foster children and mental health /disability rights.
On May 1st we were given a lease termination notice and have LESS THAN 30 DAYS to move out because a developer has purchased the property which we have leased for over 30 years! They plan to demolish the historic building (built in 1863) to make room for an E-Z storage facility. We have tried everything in our power to save the building by trying to purchase and remodel/restore the house and the surrounding property ourselves. But we have been unsuccessful in obtaining necessary funding and now the eleventh hour is upon us. At this point even if the City of Rock Hill stops the development or moves the existing structure, the bookstore IS BEING EVICTED.
As an Independent brick and mortar bookstore we have had to survive competition from online megalisters, large national chain stores, economic downturns and changes in the publishing and book industry. Bookstores are becoming an endangered species! We want to keep our open shop that is beloved by so many open for many years to come. We would love to buy the building and surrounding property but despite everything we've been left with little option but to locate to new premises, and this is where you can help.
What We Need
Our immediate need is money to relocate and save the Book House as a business. The store contains over 300 thousand books, and we need 3000 to 5000 square feet of retail space. We need to find a new location, put down down-payment, and build-out. This, along with moving costs, will cost at least $50,000.
Ideally we would like to purchase the historic house and surrounding property. Realistically, the funding we would require for that would be perhaps twenty times our set goal.
We are trying to raise as much as we can to relocate. Again, the $50,000 goal would be the minimum we'd need to save the business itself. If we are able to raise more than that goal, other, more preferable options will become available
To read more about our bookstore please see articles below.
Other Ways You Can Help
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The Book House has been a fixture in Rock Hill for nearly thirty years. Few bookstores, selling new or used books, have the charm of this historic 130-year old Victorian house with books shelved everywhere from floor to ceiling.More importantly, thriving independent bookstores like The Book House are a vital part of the cultural landscape. According to an economic impact study done by the Urban Conservancy in 2009, "… local businesses generate two to three times more local economic activity than chain businesses." - letter to the Post Dispatch, St. Louis Independent Bookstore Alliance
"The Book House is a unique operation with a great mission, and a landmark for the community."- Debora Davidson Chesterfield, MO
"The Book House is an incredibly important part of the culture of St. Louis" -Amy Anderson, St. Louis, MO
"Bookstores are important to the communities they serve. If the location is doomed I hope The Book House's fans will rally by helping with the store's move and by continuing to patronize it. This country needs every bookstore it has and can ill afford to lose any of them." - Danna Jackson, Collinsville, IL
"I remember coming here as a kid with my mom. It is important to keep our independent bookstores alive!" - Lucy Adams St. Louis, MO