FREE SPEECH ZONE | New Bookstore to Shake Things Up

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The rooms behind 2nd Moon Coffee Café (2225 East Franklin Ave.) sat vacant ever since the Seward Co-op (2823 East Franklin Ave.) moved its offices into a new location further down on the Avenue. This opening practically begged for another small, independent business to share its space with the café and Mezzanine Salon. The new business that moved into 2002 23rd Ave. S. had to be one that would engage the community, provide a service that neighbors would show interest in, and have a dedication toward a worthwhile cause. Luckily, Boneshaker Books moved into that space and has been received very well by neighbors and business owners alike.

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Boneshaker Books is an all-volunteer run progressive bookstore that has a commitment toward community, education, and activism. The store is operated by seven people, all of whom are unpaid but equally passionate about the power of the written word and the implications of a socially-conscious business in the area. In addition to providing unique literature, such as zines, Boneshaker’s goal is to create a welcoming space for the free exchange of ideas.

Another unique aspect of this new bookstore is the fact that it is allied with the Women’s Prison Book Project (WPBP), which was recently forced to move with the closure of Arise! Bookstore. Boneshaker maintains a level of commitment toward the WPBP as the bookstore assists with mailings, donations, and a space in which to sell their books.

Amanda Luker of Boneshaker Books said that when the store had to revise its plan to stay on Lyndale, those on staff had to consider relocating to an area of the City that had a reasonable amount of pedestrian traffic and an environment that would support their cause.

“We knew Seward would be a great fit because it’s very progressive and family-friendly, just like us,” Luker said.

On Saturday, Jan. 15, Boneshaker Books celebrated its first day of business with a Grand Opening celebration. By the end of the night, the store was filled with patrons and gave the volunteers a chance to appreciate all of their hard work in soliciting donations and preparing the space.

“Pizza Luce, Seward Co-op and Zipps donated food and drink for our opening; the Playwrights Center and Seward Café have given us welcome gifts; and 2nd Moon has managed to direct a lot of traffic our way,” Luker added. “We feel very welcome.”

In order to expand business and draw more patrons in, Luker reported that the collective is planning to conduct book swaps and facilitate family-friendly events for the community. Also, the store is going to offer free bicycle book delivery program when the snow begins to melt.