Crowdfunding Wooden Shoe, an anti-profit bookstore and infoshop in Philadelphia

Philadelphia's Wooden Shoe Bookstore is 40 years old: it's a collectively run, volunteer "anti-profit" bookstore; they're hoping to raise $25,000 for much-needed remodelling and refurbishment.

Wooden Shoe Books has been in Philadelphia since 1976. The Shoe, as it is sometimes called, primarily operates as an infoshop, meaning that we function as a space where people gather, learn, and share ideas, news, and events related to our local radical communities. The infoshop is solely sustained by the passion of our volunteers. Functioning within a system we oppose, we seek to be an example of one way people can work together to challenge dominant power structures. As a collective, we do not have a boss or managers, but rather all of the decisions in the space are made through consensus by collective members and volunteers to empower everyone involved in the space to have a voice.

This past year has been tough on us. We are currently short on volunteers, and our core group has been stretched thin. We depend on sales and donations to ensure that we can pay the rent and other costs, and the winter months are particularly rough on us every year. As the collective is undergoing a much overdue restructuring, shifting our focus away from finances would allow us to focus on more important issues, such as building a stronger sense of community.

Wooden Shoe Books & Records Fundraiser

(Thanks, Albo!)

Notable Replies

  1. Anti-profit, but short $25k just to survive. Oh, the cognitive dissonance!

  2. Yeah, that anti-profit line evoked an immediate eyeroll from me. Just call it a non-profit like everyone else. Anti-profit sounds like you're Blackberry or something.

  3. I used to work at a "non-profit" that turned well over a million bucks a month. So I think I understand the difference between non and anti.

    And anyway, I don't see why youse guys have a problem with the nomenclature. They are anti-profit and they are $25K in the hole. Seems perfectly consistent to me.

    I'm just wondering how come I never heard of these guys before... I worked in Philly for years!

  4. I have lived in Philadelphia all my life. South street is and has always been a Hip/Trendy area, and the times I am there, I am usually going somewhere else, so toting a couple of hardbacks along to a bar or restaurant doesn't work real well. It is not a location that makes it easy to drive, or walk over to without dealing with crowds or tight parking.
    I know people who go there but we have another used bookstore right behind our main library that fits the bill better. All the books are donated and the proceeds go to the Library which most book people like. There are also two resident cats that wander the store, and I swear I often stop in just to pet the cats.It is a little more off the beaten track, and that makes frequent stops on my way out of Center City easier.
    I also know that 15 minutes after I die, my wife is calling up to donate all my books, so I am kind of just renting them. It's a Circle of Life thing.

  5. They are an infoshop. I'd be surprised if they don't.

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