The Book House: July Update, Moving, and Volunteers needed!

The Book House – One of Missouri’s Most Endangered Historic Places in 2013 12197961-family-moving-house-and-loading-a-truck-with-boxes--isolated-over-white

As you may already be aware, The Book House is being forced to move to a new location very soon, as the building owner has sold the property. Many people have been asking us WHERE we are moving and WHEN. We have still not finalized our negotiations for a lease on a new space yet, but hope to make an announcement very soon. We have been working hard to find another place in the area that has the character and feel of our current location. We want this new building to be a place we can grow and take The Book House and Second Chapter Center to the next level as a great Independent bookstore and community space with lots and lots of books, great staff, great inventory, great events, community participation and room to build for the future. We have received so much support and encouragement from everyone, it has been quite overwhelming. Thank you everyone who has helped with fundraising and outreach so far.

Here is what we can tell you: We have a space in mind that is bigger than our current location but needs a LOT of work to make occupiable. We are planning to move in stages – Phase one: Moving a lot into storage so we can concentrate on our build out. Phase two: We will be fixing up the new building to meet occupancy and code compliance so we can pass building code and operate a retail storefront by the holiday season. It will probably be pretty barebones and bohemian for a while. Phase Three: We will start working on the larger space, reinforcing walls, painting, flooring, remodeling, and fixing it up for event and book group space as well as better display, building shelves, designing, painting, flooring, etc. Its going to be a long term transition so please be patient with us. In the meantime, our Internet store operations, booksearch, and mail order will remain unchanged and available throughout any down time. You may always reach us by phone or email.

We will remain open at our current location AT LEAST through July 31st. Also we are negotiating with the building owner and Great Northern Development for more time and hope we can stay open and operating an additional two or three months (through Sept) while we are working on the transition, but this is not finalized yet and subject to change.

Here’s where you can help – We just got a big truck trailer, which is parked behind the bookstore and ready to start packing up with boxes this week! We can use lots of volunteers to help move boxes. (Must be able to lift a 40 lb box with ease) We are currently working on clearing our warehouse and books that are in storage so minimal “packing” is involved. Its basically heavy lifting at this point, but lots of hands make lighter work. If you are interested in helping please give us a call!

We are just getting started, so will probably be using packers and movers for quite a while. Let us know what you are available to do, and we can fit you in as we move forward. Once we get into our new location, we will need people with construction skills, painters, flooring, building bookshelves, etc. We will be working with licensed contractors, especially for the plumbing and electrical work, but if you or someone you know has skills to donate, please let us know. We will also be looking for lumber, lighting fixtures, and building materials.

Our first online fundraiser raised over $5000, which is great, but only a drop in the bucket of what we are going to need for our move and build out. Please stay tuned for another online fundraiser soon, and in the meantime, we will still take donations at the shop. So come visit, take pictures, buy some books, and help us with the transition to our new location.

Thank you very much for all your support so far!


Sunday, July 7th 2:00pm – Our First Volunteer Day!

Here’s where you can help –  We just got a big truck trailer  which is parked behind the bookstore  and ready to start packing up with boxes this week!   We can use lots of volunteers to help move boxes.  (Must be able to lift a 40 lb box with ease)     We are currently working on clearing our warehouse and books that are in storage  so minimal “packing” is involved.  Its basically heavy lifting at this point, but lots of hands make lighter work.   If you are interested in helping please give us a call!   We are planning a “work day” on Sunday, July 7th  starting at 2:00 pm.  (We will be clearing out all the boxes in the basement, so wear work clothes and be prepared to get dirty).

If you are wanting to volunteer on other days, please contact Michelle or Katie with your name or email.  314-968-4491 or

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Hope for the Holidays

At The Book House we believe in making a difference in our community. We are affiliated with several charities and assistance programs throughout the St. Louis area and our hope is that you will join us in our efforts to make some positive differences in others’ lives.

The Book House, in conjunction with The St. Louis Bookstore Alliance ( has begun its annual book drive this season. The book drive, called Hope for the Holidays, will provide books for the residents of Gateway 180 Homeless Shelter on 1000 North 19th Street in St. Louis. Gateway 180 ( is the largest 24-hour shelter for single women and families in the state of Missouri. We encourage our customers to purchase a book from a participating store and donate it. Members of the Alliance will gift wrap and deliver the books to the shelter just before Christmas. We believe that books will provide the residents of Gateway 180 with some much-needed joy this season. Books are sharable, inexpensive and allow us all to dream of something beyond our circumstances.

Also, The Book House accepts donations year round for Second Chapter Life Center (, a program founded  in 2006 which is based on a need in the community for youth and young adults requiring supervision and assistance to have meaningful, inclusive opportunities, sense of belonging, care, community and guidance.   A portion of all proceeds from these books goes to help fund these programs.   You may bring your used books to The Book House any time during regular business hours.  Please be sure your books are clean, and in very good condition, and  in boxes or bags. If you have more than ten boxes of books to donate, please call ahead and let us know at 314.968.4491.  We also accept cash donations for Second Cahpter and for the Hope for the Holidays program.

Additionally, The Book House  and your book donations benefits   the Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition (,  a non-profit agency, founded in 1989 with the support of the United Way of Greater St. Louis that offers many supports to foster and adoptive parents, including support groups, training, advocacy, newsletters, two resale shops, crisis intervention services, and the Little Wishes program. The Book House recently made a donation to the Little Wishes campaign to help buy gifts this holiday for children in foster care.

The Book House is also collecting canned and non-perishable food items for Rock Hill Ministries and St. Louis Area Foodbank    and, in conjunction with Second Chapter Center, has adopted three local families to help pay utility bills, food, rent, clothes, and christmas gifts for the holiday season.  We  are accepting food donations through Dec. 20th  as well as cash donations.

By buying at The Book House, you are joining us in supporting our community and making St. Louis a better place to be.

Also be sure to stop by  for our Annual Holiday Open House and book sale on Friday, Saturday and Sunday December 9, 10, and 11 and book signings by   John S. McFarland, M.R. Sellers, Ray Sigler, Maxine Prochnow, Megan Barr and Marilynne Bradley! There will be free refreshments, raffle and entertainment, and all books will be on sale!                   

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Why Buy Books From an Independant Bookstore?

With the holidays coming and not a lot of money to go around, there is one gift that never loses its appeal: a good old-fashioned book. While many products in this rapid-changing digital era will be outdated by the same time next year, books continue to charm us, inspire us, and entertain us. Whether we read for pleasure, education, or escapism, we love to read, and that’s why books still make perfect gifts for the holidays. But this year, before you bust out your wallet and start spending, take a moment to consider where you’d like your money to go.

While the majority of money spent at large chain bookstores goes straight into the pockets of the major chain business owners, buying from an independent bookstore offers a lot more to the community. Listed below are the top ten reasons why you should consider shopping at your local independent bookstores this season.

1. By shopping at an independent bookstore, you keep your dollars in our economy. For every $100 dollars you spend at local businesses, $68 will stay in the community. When spending at a national chain, only $43 dollars stay in the community.

2. You embrace what makes us unique. A large part of the joy of shopping at independent bookstores is that they each have their own personalities. You wouldn’t want your house to look like everyone else’s in the U.S. So why would you want your community to look that way?

3. You create local jobs. Local businesses are better at creating higher-paying jobs for our neighbors.

4. You help the environment. Buying from a local business conserves energy and resources by using less fuel for transportation, less packaging, and using products that you know are safe and well made, because we stand behind them.

5. You nurture your community. Studies show that local businesses donate to community causes at more than twice the rate of major chains.

6. You conserve tax dollars. Shopping at a local business means less infrastructure, less maintenance, and more money available to beautify your community. Also, spending locally instead of online ensures that your sales taxes are reinvested where they belong – in your community!

7. You create more choice. We pick the books and gifts we sell based on what we know you like and want. Local businesses carry a wider array of unique products because we buy for our own individual market.

8. You take advantage of our expertise. We are your friends and neighbors, and we have a vested interest in knowing how to serve you. We’re passionate about what we do. Why not take advantage of it?

9. You invest in entrepreneurship. Creativity and entrepreneurship is what the American economy is founded upon. Nurturing local businesses ensures a strong community and creates opportunity.

10. You made us a destination. The more interesting and unique we are a community, the more we will attract new neighbors, visitors and guests. This benefits everyone!

Keep these reasons in mind this season as you go about your holiday spending, and if you’re a St. Louis local, don’t forget about Hope for the Holidays. As part of the St. Louis Independent Bookstore Alliance, we at The Book House encourage you to purchase a book to donate to Gateway 180 Homeless Shelter. For more information, go to:

Also, be sure to check out our website at: or stop by at 9719 Manchester Road, for great deals and more upcoming holiday events!

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Mamma Mia!


Stop by the Book House on 9719 Manchester Road, St. Louis, Missouri to register for your chance to win two tickets to Mamma Mia! at the Fox Theater on Tuesday, November 22nd!

Drawings will be held Saturday, November 19th.

Also, be sure to check out our website:

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Celebrating 25 Years!

THE  BOOK HOUSE  CELEBRATING 25 YEARS!    Have we really been here that long?    What started in October 1986 as a “safe place to stay” and “something to do” for  a young mother recently divorced with two small children  has become a community landmark and a lifelong passion and professional career.   Selling BOOKS !!  REAL BOOKS –  all kinds,  new, old, used, reprinted, rare, hard to find.   Our lives have been enriched by sharing books and literature and ideas and politics and stories with so many of you in our community!   We’ve watched young  budding readers wide eyes full of wonder come in and explore and discover. Over the past 25 years many  of you (like my own children)  have grown  up, left  home  to go off to college, or the military, or work,  but you still come back on holidays, often with your own children,  continuing the tradition of reading and books to the next generation!  I hope we have played a small part in that journey.  We’ve nurtured beginning writers  who have become published authors and world travelers.  We’ve humbly helped to turn growing passions into book collections, helping to find hidden treasures and hard to find items.  And we sometimes see these  come back full circle as their owner moves, downsizes, or passes away and their  carefully curated  collections come back to us to be loved and tended by a new generation of readers and collectors.  We have always strived to “pay it forward” and give back to the local community.   In 2005 we founded Second Chapter Life Center serving young adults with developmental disabilities and a portion of all sales and book donations fund these programs.  We have also  partnered with the Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition and Earth Circle Recycling and the Global Thousand Books Initiative  to make sure used book donations get to people who can use them and do not go into landfills.   

We want you to know that WE ARE STILL HERE!  We hope to be here another 25 years or more!  With all the changes in technology, the economy and this increasing fast-paced cynical world  we need Books and Stories and a quiet, local community “safe” place  more than ever.  Yes, we will probably find a way to carry ebooks and we will use all the latest tools at our disposal to help you find what you need.  We can get just about anything for you in a matter of days.  We carry the “newest,  latest thing” But computers and ebooks  will never replace real books.  We will still have them –  in abundance.  From bargain books to rare manuscripts over 100 years old.  We have them!  Come see them, touch them, smell them, collect them.  Hold history in your hands.  Come join us as we journey  to the future.  The possibilites are amazing!   We will continue to find exciting new authors and books for you to discover and foster the growth of literature and ideas throughout the community.  We have so many exciting ideas for upcoming events and community partnerships we would love to share with you.    We are here for YOU  –  to help you find what you need,  (even if you don’t know what that is), to share our love of books and reading and offer suggestions. And we welcome your ideas and suggestions.   Come join us!

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