Struggling Bookstore Asks for a Little Help

Steve Rhodes

Walk into Modern Times bookstore in the City and you will probably find books about feminism, Latino culture and gay rights. You might also find a please for help.

The employee run co-operative is in desperate need of some warm love to make it through the cold summer of struggling economics.

Modern Times says it is "facing a financial crisis" and urgently needs donations to make it though the rest of August.

"The cold, hard economic facts are these: We need to sell a certain amount everyday in order to break even on costs – taxes, rent, payroll, utilities, insurance, and new books – and right now we are not doing this," the store posted on its website.

Modern Times says it has been hit with the harsh realities of the sluggish economy. More people are opting to check out books from libraries instead of spending money at independent bookstores and those with money for books might be more inclined to buy an iPad.

Struggling bookstores have become a growing trend in recent years as the threat of discount books on the web or large retail stores, such as Borders, have taken away market share from independent sellers.

The economy and the real estate crash has also reared its ugly head, forcing Bay Area institution Marcus Books to fight off the threat of foreclosure.

Fans of Modern Times are being asked to take a stand before it is too late. They can donate whatever they can or sponsor a shelf in the store.

Modern Times has long been a haven for progressives to hang out and share ideas since it first opened 39 years ago on Valencia Street in the City.

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