Alan Beatts, owner of San Francisco genre bookshop Borderlands Books, announced on October 13 that he “made an offer on a building that is meant to be a permanent home for Borderlands. On Wednesday that offer was accepted by the seller.” The deal will move Borderlands from its Mission neighborhood location at 866 Valencia St. to 1373 Haight Street, currently the home of Recycled Records. Beatts said, “It’s a little bit smaller that our current spot but, by putting the office and storage in the basement and being smarter with the layout, I think we can fit all our current stock and more. Sadly, there is no room to accommodate the cafe. (Please note — that does not mean I’m planning on closing the cafe.)”
To finance the purchase Beatts is seeking $1.9 million in loans from the local community, ideally dividing the loans between “a number of people (15 or more) who will be taking a not-too-large risk but who, together, can provide the sum that is needed.” Within eight days of initiating fundraising he raised $500,000, with another $300,000 pending. Beatts cites the crowd-sourced sponsorship program started in 2015 as a reason for wanting to buy a location to house the store: “…after so many people were willing to contribute to allow it to continue to operate, I began to see it more as a public trust than something that was solely my possession.”
In closing he said:
This store has been my life’s work and I wish to see it continue after my life is done. Further, I truly believe that bookstores are a critical part of the creative and intellectual life of our society as well as being an element of our city’s soul.
Individuals interested in participating can reach Beatts at firstname.lastname@example.org.