Folks, this begins an ongoing update and discussion regarding the above theme. It will be Included in all monthly emails, and will be updated regularly on our Facebook Page and website, at http://www.tsunamibooks.org/words. These writings will all be initiated by me, Scott Landfield, 20 years a working owner, and de facto Mayor of Tsunami Books. It should be understood that, without new and exciting, if presently unknown help from outside the Bookstore, keeping Tsunami Books alive and thriving beyond July 1, 2017 is impossible.
Tsunami Books has been at 2585 Willamette Street in beautiful South Eugene for 21 years. Last year at this time we signed a two-year lease extension after completing a Crowd-funding Campaign ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3K5tdX1cOPE ) that allowed us to cover a part of the increased costs of keeping this working-class bookstore alive and healthy, if still poor. Sometime soon after July 1, 2017 there are plans to level this building, tentatively replacing it with a two-story retail building, with rent at approximately double the present rate.
This news saddens a lot of good people. Tsunami has often been called “an Institution”; certainly the 3500+ events we’ve hosted, all surrounded by books shelved on precious recycled lumber, have created an exquisite patina like, well, simply like nothing else. “A big umbrella for the arts, and the human heart,” to paraphrase what store-partner Dave Rhodes once said when he was active in the biz. Frankly, as a mature, healthy 62 year old man, it is frustrating that now, when I am finally beginning to make enough of a living to dig myself out of the hole I leaped into when I bought into this then-one-year-old business, it is also very possibly time to call it quits. Certainly, if I look at this alone, that is the only option. That’s why the time has come to somehow open the discussion to the community. I have no idea what that means, but if successful will likely include meetings, significant start-up fundraising, possibly finding a new home, possibly new ownership, and most certainly an expanded vision of this “Institution,”
One thing is absolutely certain: Even though Tsunami Books began with no money, and still has no money (literally, not figuratively, no money), these times a’comin’-- the retail sales, the events, the hearts touching hearts--between now and July 1, 2017 need to be the best ever here at the Bookstore. If they are, opportunities for a future life may somehow materialize. And if a next incarnation of Tsunami Books does not materialize, then it’s all the more important that, beginning today, this Bookstore needs to thrive in all ways. Not to go out in a blaze of glory, but to continue the blaze of glory, and see where it leads.