Update #2: what we've been up to since January!
Published on April 14, 2021 by Lil Read
Admin

Hello dear friends!

In the months since our last update, we have been hard at work. Dozens of new volunteers have joined our crew and we have expanded our store from 5 half-filled bookshelves to more than 20 overflowing shelves. Our free bookstore store has been open almost every single weekend of the year (one weekend cancelled due to extreme snowfall) and we’ve been able to have our free book stand at the Capitol set up nearly every Saturday this winter as well. The total number of books we have distributed is now 4800, up from 3000 in January. We also have been putting together an incredible lending library filled with dozens of donated radical reads. We could not pay rent for our physical space or otherwise grow this work without your material support! 
Caption: A wide shot featuring 10 filled shelves and some cute plants at the Little Read Books Free Book Store!


We have started a Books to Prisons program and are working to get books to people incarcerated in the Denver metro area. So far, we have donated 200 books to jails in Denver and Jefferson counties, and plan on expanding our distribution to more facilities in our state. Huge thanks to the Colorado Freedom Fund for their help with this project! 
Caption: Photo of 3 boxes of books on a bench in front of the Jefferson County Jail building.


On the weekend we were snowed in, we held a virtual screening and discussion of the classic labor film Salt of the Earth (dir. Herbert Biberman, 1954). We were deeply moved by this tale of working class men & women who went on strike for better working and living conditions in a mining town in 1950s New Mexico, which resonated with today’s ongoing struggles for dignified and safe work. This film was written by Michael Wilson, directed by Herbert J. Biberman, and produced by Paul Jarrico, all filmmakers blacklisted during the McCarthy era, and it features non-professional actors who had actually gone on strike as miners & their families shortly before the film was made and worked with the filmmakers to make sure their story was being told accurately. We look forward to putting on more screenings, as well as hosting a variety of offerings such as a bike repair workshop and reading groups! Stay tuned on our social media and website for future programming!

We now have an online book store on Bookshop.org, where we get 30% of all purchases made through our store. This includes not only books selected from our lovingly-curated virtual “shelves” of volunteer-recommended readings, but also any purchases made by searching through our page. Bookshop.org carries most new books available today, so there is something on there for everyone! Please keep our Bookshop.org store bookmarked and spread the word about it - it is a super easy way to support our free book distribution while shopping online for books! Visit us at https://bookshop.org/shop/littlereadbooks 

Caption: A volunteer-curated selection of books from our shelves, including "Quotations From Chairman Mao Tse-Tung," "The Origin of the Family, Private Property, and the State" by Engels, "The Martian Chronicles" by Bradbury.


Stain’d Arts, a local nonprofit arts organization, runs a sliding-scale used bookstore whose proceeds support local organizations, and they have chosen Little Read Books as their April 2021 donation recipient! Please check their store and other programming out and consider purchasing something that catches your eye. 


We just printed some beautiful T-shirts and tote bags! All items are going for a suggested donation of $20+ as of now (please add $5 for shipping if you can not pick up at our store in Denver). Check out the designs and order something cute if you are into them! We will be in touch via email with those that place an order to get your size/color preference. If you buy anonymously/”incognito”, please email us at [email protected] about your order since we will not be able to get in touch with you.

Caption: Image of our newly-printed shirt designs, one of which features a cabin with a book as its roof and the other featuring a man painting roses red, with the text "Little Read Books" on both, alongside some books at a recent book stand date.

Lastly, we are in the middle of a fundraising drive! We are focused on building a larger pool of monthly donors in order to keep this project sustainable and resilient. If you are able to chip in $5 or $10 a month, we'd really appreciate your support! Another way you can help out with this effort is to spread the word about our project to anyone you know that might be interested. Even $1/month will go a long way! Together, our many small monthly donations will add up and ensure we are able to continue our community education work for the foreseeable future.

Our work would not be possible without your support. Thank you for helping us run a bookstore that exists to build solidarity and education for the many, not profits for the few. 

Caption: Two images of satisfied LRB community members posing with the zines and books they got from our store - selections include the IWW pamphlet "Fire Your Boss," "Roses are Red" by James Patterson, "Slaughterhouse Five" by Vonnegut, and "In Dubious Battle" by Steinbeck.

Onwards!
Little Read Books