San Francisco

Endangered Sci Fi Bookstore Borderlands Survives Through Customer Sponsorship

Borderlands Books has been brought back from the brink of extinction thanks to its loyal customers. 

The science fiction specialist, located in San Francisco, announced in January plans to close by March 31 unless creative solutions were found.

Owner Joe Marchione cited the imminent minimum wage increase and the power of online stores as reasons the business was no longer viable.

"The thing to emphasize, is there are no local villains, it’s not a rent issue,” Marchione told SFGate. “I just can’t compete with with booksellers that don’t have to deal with the overhead of having a brick and mortar shop.”

The idea later arose to sell 300 customer sponsorships at a cost of $100 each to keep the store open for at least another year. The sponsorships offer perks like special events and priority seating to public readings. According to Boing Boing, Marchione has gotten at least 300 sponsorships and is no longer talking about a March demise.

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