Longtime Williamsburg bookseller Spoonbill & Sugartown Books (218 Bedford Ave.) is facing permanent closure due to the coronavirus crisis and has launched a crowdfunding campaign to save the store.

As a holdout on what has become one of Bedford Avenue’s most inundated corporate retail stretches, Spoonbill & Sugartown recently celebrated its 20th anniversary in Williamsburg. The store has served as a community space for readings and as an outlet for second-hand literature, as well as contemporary books of various genres including art and design.

The GoFundMe campaign launched on April 13th and has a goal of $150,000 to save the brick-and-mortar location; Spoonbill’s website remains open for orders.

In a video update posted this week, owner Miles Bellamy thanked everyone that has supported the campaign so far helping to raise over $34,000 while proclaiming: “This bookstore is going to stay open.”


An excerpt from the GoFundMe campaign explains Spoonbill’s mission and outlook:

Save‌ ‌Our‌ ‌Spoonbill‌ ‌is‌ ‌an‌ ‌initiative‌ ‌for‌ ‌friends‌ ‌to‌ ‌help‌ ‌us‌ ‌sustain‌ ‌our‌ iconic‌ ‌Williamsburg‌ bookshop during the shutdown of all nonessential small businesses. We‌ ‌humbly‌ ‌ask‌ ‌for‌ ‌your‌ ‌immediate‌ ‌support‌ ‌to‌ ‌ensure‌ ‌our‌ ‌return‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌community‌ ‌we‌ ‌love, so that we can support the ‌extraordinary‌ ‌staff‌ ‌and‌ ‌loyal‌ ‌community‌ ‌who‌ ‌enabled‌ ‌our‌ ‌vision‌ ‌and‌ ‌allowed‌ ‌us‌ ‌to‌ ‌thrive.‌ ‌

‌Spoonbill‌ ‌has‌ ‌earned‌ ‌an‌ ‌international‌ ‌reputation‌ ‌for‌ ‌its‌ ‌eclectic‌ ‌range‌ ‌of‌ ‌new‌ ‌and‌ ‌second-hand‌ ‌books, ‌ ‌and‌ ‌for‌ ‌providing‌ ‌an‌ ‌arena‌ ‌for‌ ‌discovery‌ ‌and‌ ‌the‌ ‌sharing‌ ‌of‌ ‌knowledge ‌. We‌ ‌opened‌ ‌our‌ ‌shop‌ ‌in‌ ‌Williamsburg, ‌ Brooklyn‌ ‌in‌ ‌1999‌ ‌with‌ ‌$20,000‌ ‌and‌ ‌a ‌singular‌ ‌mission:‌ ‌to‌ ‌cultivate‌ ‌passion‌ ‌for‌ ‌art‌ ‌and‌ ‌books‌ ‌by‌ ‌providing‌‌ ‌an inspirational physical space‌ ‌for‌ ‌people‌ ‌to‌ ‌merge‌ ‌with‌ ‌our books.‌‌ ‌‌Our‌ ‌strong‌ ‌suit‌ ‌is‌ ‌face–to-face,‌ ‌brick‌ ‌and‌ ‌mortar‌ ‌retail.‌ ‌‌Our‌ ‌approach‌ ‌is‌ ‌to‌ ‌“read‌ ‌books‌ ‌and‌ ‌prosper”.‌ ‌Our‌ ‌success‌ ‌comes‌ ‌from‌ ‌how‌ ‌deeply‌ ‌we‌ ‌engage‌ ‌-‌ ‌with‌ ‌our‌ ‌books‌ ‌and‌ ‌our‌ ‌staff,‌ ‌and‌ ‌our‌ ‌writers‌ ‌and‌ ‌readers.‌ ‌And‌ ‌now‌ ‌more‌ ‌than‌ ‌ever,‌ ‌books‌ are ‌essential‌ ‌to‌ ‌rebuilding‌ ‌our‌ ‌community.‌ ‌

Over‌ ‌the‌ ‌course‌ ‌of‌ ‌twenty‌ ‌years, ‌ ‌we’ve‌ ‌made‌ ‌a‌ ‌difference‌ ‌in‌ ‌many‌ ‌lives‌ ‌by‌ ‌helping‌ ‌artists‌ ‌become‌ ‌artists, ‌ ‌thinkers‌ ‌become‌ ‌thinkers‌ ‌and‌ ‌dreamers‌ ‌feed‌ ‌their‌ ‌dreams. ‌ ‌We’ve ‌created‌ ‌jobs, ‌ ‌supported‌ ‌small‌ ‌and‌ ‌big‌ ‌publishers‌ ‌alike‌ ‌and‌ ‌brought‌ ‌joy‌ ‌to‌ ‌those‌ ‌who’ve‌ ‌stepped‌ ‌through‌ ‌our‌ ‌doors. ‌ ‌But‌ ‌now‌ ‌we’re‌ ‌faced‌ ‌with‌ ‌our‌ ‌greatest‌ ‌challenge: ‌ ‌to‌ ‌keep‌ ‌the‌ ‌books‌ ‌flowing‌ ‌despite‌ ‌the‌ ‌pandemic. ‌ ‌ ‌

While we‌ ‌continue‌ ‌to‌ ‌work‌ ‌tirelessly‌ ‌from‌ ‌home‌ ‌to‌ ‌seek‌ ‌solutions,‌ ‌we‌ ‌have‌ ‌to‌ ‌face‌ ‌the‌ ‌reality,‌ ‌that‌ ‌without‌ ‌your‌ ‌help,‌ ‌we‌ ‌will‌ ‌not‌ ‌make‌ ‌it.‌ ‌‌We’ve‌ ‌applied‌ ‌for‌ ‌government‌ ‌assistance‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌form‌ ‌of‌ ‌small‌ ‌business‌ ‌loans,‌ ‌but‌ ‌it‌ ‌won’t‌ ‌be‌ ‌enough,‌ ‌and‌ ‌it‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌too‌ ‌late.‌ ‌‌Your‌ ‌contribution‌ ‌will‌ ‌keep‌ ‌us‌ ‌from‌ ‌closing‌ ‌by‌ ‌providing‌ ‌the‌ ‌cash-flow‌ ‌to‌ ‌maintain‌ ‌operations‌‌ ‌during‌ ‌the‌ ‌shutdown‌ ‌(rent,‌ ‌insurance,‌ ‌utilities)‌,‌‌ ‌to‌ ‌hire‌ ‌back‌ ‌our‌ ‌employees‌ ‌‌and‌ ‌to‌ ‌make‌ ‌our‌ ‌re-opening‌ ‌our‌ ‌victory.‌‌ ‌‌If‌ ‌you‌ ‌can‌ ‌give,‌ ‌we‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌deeply‌ ‌grateful. ‌ ‌No‌ ‌donation‌ ‌is‌ ‌too‌ ‌small…or‌ ‌too‌ ‌big. ‌ ‌And‌ ‌please‌ ‌let‌ ‌other‌ ‌lovers‌ ‌of‌ ‌reading‌ ‌know‌ ‌about‌ ‌this‌ ‌campaign. ‌ ‌‌Sharing‌ ‌this‌ ‌page‌ ‌will‌ ‌make‌ ‌a‌ ‌meaningful‌ ‌difference.

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