Saturday, May 26, 2007

Graduation Day

Today I collect my B.A. -- I'm graduating from the University Without Walls program of the University of Massachusetts. It's thirty years since I started college. Both of my kids are heading away to college this year, and I've told them "Dad took 30 years, so, NO PRESSURE."

Several weeks have passed since my first bookstore bus tour and I suppose the fact that I haven't written about it says something. While the three riders who did come, and I, had's definitely not good business practice for only four people to spend the day riding around on a 29-seat bus. Such an outcome demands a zippy "lessons learned" approach, which I didn't before now somehow have it in me to simply conjure up.

Of course, I did begin to understand during the course of my marketing work that I'd managed to choose a weekend when everyone in this area (Five-College Region) is frantically writing term papers and studying for final exams. And since I'd assumed that the academic community itself would be a great target market for me, it was pretty stupid to think that such a crowd would be available for a fun day of bookstore hopping on such a weekend.

Which has also led me to conclude that the June 2 trip to New York is an even WORSE idea. Since the Pioneer Valley really empties out after the commencement ceremonies (that is: after this weekend).

So I'm not going to run any trips until late August. I'll put together a fall schedule and publicize this as a coherent block of activity, instead of simply publicizing one trip at a time as I did with the Boston trip on May 6.

I do want to thank Doug, Susan and Brian, the three bookstore lovers who went to Boston with me. Along with our bus-driver, Todd, they all seemed to be having a great time. I think that about half of me was having a great time too. The other half of me was feeling incredibly stupid though.

I did get some lovely video footage of three events organized by Harvard Bookstore, and presented there, and at Grolier Poetry Book Shop, and at Papercut Zine Library. When my daughter finally gets around to teaching me how to move the video from the camera to the computer, I'll post some video clips.

One thing that alarmed me was the realization that there was no WAY a real horde of booklovers could have easily gone simultaneously into some of those stores. I mean -- a successful trip with lots of riders would have required quite a bit of organized into-group-splitting -- to ensure that we didn't all go the same place at the same time. This is one thing I didn't turn out to have to worry about...

Also, I was chagrined to find that Schoenhof's is closed on Sundays. I thought I'd verified that they'd be open, and since one of the riders is a Latinist and had been looking forward to going there, this was pretty embarrassing. Maybe that was another blessing in disguise to having a small group going along on this first trip. Not as many people to see me screw up the planning.

I suppose the virtue of launching a business on your own -- without partners or staff -- without a monthly rent to pay on a storefront, or posted hours of opening -- is that you have the freedom to retreat and lick your wounds. I wouldn't say I've got any wounds, nor have I been particularly moody this past couple of weeks -- mostly I've been busy writing final papers to get this whole degree thing out of the way -- but I haven't minded simply not thinking about BiblioExpeditions. I guess this means that I did get the wind taken out of my sails.

One good thing about canceling the June 2 trip, though, is that I'll be able to simply attend Book Expo America, which I now need to do anyway at the behest of several different organizations with unrelated agendas (Eric Carle Museum; Vox Pop; Pioneer Valley Bookmarks). So, in conclusion, all's for the best in this best of all possible worlds.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Night Before

Last minute preparation: I bought some videotapes for my recorder. Since I've been taking a Visual Anthropology course at UMass I feel hyperself-conscious about videotaping. Funny. I'm thinking such technical thoughts as "experience-near" and "indigenous" and "research questions" and "habitus" and "participant observation" -- I mean -- since it will be a small collection of us going, I figure that effectively we're a focus group for this company. Trying to learn what feels right -- whether the trip is too long -- whether food should definitely be built into the ticket. So that's one level of research. But -- I feel like I'm also curious about something else: a real research question. Which is something like: What happens in "browsing"? What is it about the experience of browsing in a bookstore that is unique? It seems to me that this goes to the heart of the argument against online book-shopping. I think there's an ethnographic film here. Somehow, if it were possible to depict the experience of browsing in a bookstore, in cinematic terms -- as an aesthetic, embodied social enactment (there's the anthropologico-speak...) -- well -- anyway, maybe I'll get some interesting footage tomorrow. Hope so. Will post. Here!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

First tickets sold

Last Sunday Jan Gardner wrote an article about BiblioExpeditions in the Boston Globe and over the past few days I've started getting response to this. Three people have signed up for the email newsletter (now I guess I will have to WRITE a newsletter) and two people actually bought tickets! One person bought 2 tickets for the Boston trip, and one person bought a ticket for Boston and a ticket for the June 2 trip to New York.

I've now come to the conclusion that I will need to create a jam-packed touring schedule for launch in the fall. I'll do the planning in the early summer, and start promoting a comprehensive schedule by August, and have several tours running in multiple directions every weekend, by September. I will probably focus on weekly trips in and out of New York, Boston and Amherst/Northampton.

The trick in differentiating various trips is developing those thematic elements I was wrestling with conceptually, a couple of months ago. Like: a children's bookstore tour that goes--

1)Depart Books of Wonder in New York on Saturday morning. (Alternate departure point on a similar trip: Bank Street Bookshop on the Upper West Side).
3) Arrive at Eric Carle Museum in Amherst at noon.
4) To Eight Cousins in Falmouth late afternoon.
5) Dinner and overnight in Falmouth.
6) To Martha's Vineyard for Sunday morning visiting the bookstores there (Riley's Reads, Bunch of Grapes), then leave Falmouth.
7) Arrive The Children's Bookshop in Brookline early afternoon.
8) Short hop to Curious George Goes To Wordsworth late afternoon.
8) Return to New York VERY late Sunday.

Hmmm -- maybe the trip has to start Friday to be done by Sunday night...

There are so many similar options. Makes my head spin.

Here's Jan's article:

You're either on the bus ...

With his new venture in the book world, entrepreneur Andrew Laties is betting on bus trips. Every day buses deliver dozens of customers to casinos in Connecticut. So why not hire buses to bring book lovers to the best bookstores in the Northeast? That's the idea behind BiblioExpeditions.

The inaugural bus trip leaves Amherst on May 6 to visit independent bookstores in Newton and Cambridge and to take in the Mayfair Readers Ramble, a traveling series of readings in Harvard Square. Tickets are $29. The next bus trip, on June 2, which also leaves from Amherst, will visit bookstores in Greenwich Village, N.Y. In the fall, Laties plans to offer a bus trip from Cambridge to BookMarks, a literary celebration at 10 museums in Western Massachusetts.

Needless to say, Laties, the author of "Rebel Bookseller," is bullish on his new business, though he's been bruised by the harsh realities of the marketplace. Over the years, he has founded four bookstores. One of the two survivors is the shop at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, in Amherst, which he now manages. The other -- Vox Pop, in Brooklyn, N.Y. -- is a coffeehouse and publishing company as well as a bookstore.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Amherst To Boston May 6 Press Release

161 Pondview Drive
Amherst, Massachusetts 01002

For Release April 29 - May 5 For Editorial Consideration


Pioneer Valley bookstore lovers can enjoy a day of Boston book-shopping Sunday, May 6, when they join BiblioExpeditions for our maiden bus-tour. Bibliophiles will stop first at New England Mobile Book Fair, featuring the Northeast's largest selection of discount titles. They'll continue on to the annual May Fair Festival in Harvard Square, to visit bookstores while sampling food, taking in author events, and enjoying live music and children's programs. Featured stores on the tour include Harvard Bookstore, Schoenhof's, Grolier Poetry Bookshop, Curious George Bookstore, Globe Corner Bookstore, and Pandemonium. The BiblioExpeditions bus departs Food For Thought Books, 106 North Pleasant Street, in Amherst, at 8am, Sunday, May 6th, returning to Food For Thought at 11pm. Bus tickets are $29 and can be purchased at Food For Thought, or on the web at

The first company in the nation to offer day-long outings to bookstores, BiblioExpeditions aims to support the field of independent bookselling by encouraging and assisting booklovers in bypassing the big-box chains and online retailers, and instead visiting outstanding independent bookstores. Future bookstore tours will visit New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington DC, as well as bringing booklovers from these cities to the Pioneer Valley to visit our outstanding local bookstores and literary museums. BiblioExpeditions bus tours are organized and guided by Andy Laties, manager of the Eric Carle Museum Bookshop and author of the award-winning “Rebel Bookseller: How To Improvise Your Own Indie Store And Beat Back The Chains”. For more information visit

Press Contact: Andy Laties, 413-253-6689

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Publicity and Sales

Yesterday morning Jan Gardner of the Boston Globe's book section interviewed me about BiblioExpeditions -- I don't know when her column will run though. Then last night I had a great conversation in my University Without Walls class, at UMass, about how I ought to publicize this trip to Boston. Apparently I can with impunity post flyers in bulletin boards all over campus, and leave flyers in faculty mailboxes! What's more I can propose these tours as Continuing Education courses! However the soonest that one could be included in the published course catalog would be next Winter. One of my classmates, Marcy, said that there used to be a very popular Continuing Ed class in which an art historian took busloads of people to Boston to go to art museums, and the buses sold out as soon as they were promoted.

All of which said, I now have enough detail about itinerary and style of promotion that I'd better design the darned flyer and start selling these tickets. Else I may be going to Boston in an empty 57-seat bus.

New England Mobile Book Fair

Yesterday I made an impromptu jaunt to this amazing retail/wholesale store/warehouse outside of Boston. Frank Kramer, owner of Harvard Bookstore, had recommended it as a stop for us on our visits to Boston. What a place -- certainly one of the largest bookstores in the country, with enormous depth of title-base on obscure non-fiction subjects. Much of the store is organized not by category, though, but by publisher! This makes browsing a very odd experience, but quite provocative. Half of the building is remainders and publishers overstock and hurt books -- a really astonishing selection at very low prices. For that matter, the half of building that's new books is all 20% off.

The itinerary I think -- given the previous post's info, which is that the Harvard Square literary programming begins at 5:30 -- would be:

Depart Food For Thought in Amherst at 9am
Arrive New England Mobile Book Fair at 11am
Depart NEMBF for Harvard Square at 1pm (arrive about half an hour later)

Since the Mayfair is in large part a "Taste" event, with lots of restaurants selling food to the party-goers, we'll split up on arrival and people will be on their own for late lunches/early dinners, and for finding their way to various bookstores over the next few hours.

Mayfair Readers Ramble starts at Harvard Bookstore at 5:30pm.
Ramble concludes at 8:30pm
Depart at 9pm, arrive back at Food For Thought in Amherst at 11pm.

Mayfair Readers Ramble

The literary program for May 6th in Harvard Square is still in development, however here's the preliminary description:

Mayfair Readers� Ramble!

Celebrate the literary and cultural side of Harvard Square at the Mayfair Readers Ramble, a traveling reading series featuring five talented authors reading at five quintessentially Harvard Square locations.

Readings take place every half-hour from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Ramble organizer Harvard Book Store hosts novelist Mameve Medwed, author of How Elizabeth Barrett Browning Saved My Life, the Pierre Menard Gallery hosts New Yorker staff writer Joan Acocella, author of Twenty-Eight Artists and Two Saints: Essays, and the famous Grolier Poetry Book Shop hosts poet Tomas O'Leary, author ofThe Devil Take a Crooked House. Additional readings will occur at the Democracy Center and the Papercut Zine Library at 45 Mount Auburn Street.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Introductory Price for Harvard Square Tour

Well I had a conversation with Mitch Gaslin of Food For Thought Books (my tour-departure store) and decided that I am going to offer a great introductory price after all. I'm going to be depending on my first-time riders to help me understand what it is that makes a great bookstore tour, and the least I can do to compensate them for my own inexperience is to charge them a price that feels pretty low. I think that $29 does feel like a great deal, and I can cover the expense of the bus if I get a few dozen riders, which seems definitely doable at that low a price! Now I have to settle down, write some publicity material, and start the promotional work. Only six weeks till my first tour.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

New York for Book Expo

I've just booked a 29 seat bus from Amherst to New York for Saturday, June 2, which is the weekend Book Expo America will be in the city. Since there will be lots of author events around town, this seems like a great day to be running a bookstore tour. More info to come.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Special Introductory Price Level

OK now that I've got a specific tour that I need to sell tickets for, I'm wrestling with the question of what my Special Introductory Price should be. That is: I'm prepared to charge pretty much any level to ensure that this first bus is full of riders, because these 57 people will be my key word-of-mouth promoters for future trips.

Should I make this trip FREE?

Should I charge something that feels nominal, like $19.99?

Or is this approach a mistake, and should I make the introductory price for this first trip something like $49, so as to ensure that when the price does go up for future trips people don't get mad at me or something?

Monday, March 19, 2007

First Trip: Mayfair In Harvard Square

Hooray! I've broken the ice, and booked a 57-seat luxury motorcoach, for Sunday, May 6th. The first BiblioExpedition!

We'll depart from Amherst, Massachusetts at about 8am and travel to Harvard Square (Cambridge, MA) for the annual Mayfair Festival. This runs from Noon to 6pm and it's a BIG party (100,000 people...) The folks at Harvard Bookstore have a variety of literary events in the works -- I'll add more info as it becomes available. Suffice to say several readings at several bookstores, with a dinner at the end of the day. We'll plan to be back in Amherst at perhaps 11pm.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Full of new ideas

Great trip yesterday to Chester County Book Company and then on to Politics & Prose in D.C. Joe Drabyak of CCBC has given a LOT of thought to this whole bookstore tourism racket (because Larry Portzline brought a busload of booklovers to that store two years ago). Joe pointed me to the fields of Food Tourism and Adventure Tourism, as models: he thinks a multi-day approach is a major opportunity. Also, he described a fascinating on-bus author-event approach he'd thought of that would feature non-fiction-book author/presenters whose titles related thematically and regionally to the interests of riders and the locales of tours. He warned me, "God is in the details!" adjuring that I produce high quality programs.

Down at Politics & Prose, Carla Cohen and Barbara Mead were both encouraging and cautionary. They've run quite a number of tours themselves -- to Fallingwater (the Frank Lloyd Wright house), to the Hudson Valley (Roosevelt and Vanderbilt Estates), and most recently to Mexico for ten days! I learned that I should not book bus-riders into a motel just because the price seems right...and some other hazards of dealing with 50 strong-minded customers. I was delighted that Carla has already been toying with the idea of bringing a tourgroup up my way to the Pioneer Valley, where she'd like to visit the book museums here in Amherst.

I drove back this morning, between two and nine am and I am feeling pretty woozy. But I think I did have the breakthrough I was looking for, conceptually. I have realized that the marketing approach will rely on the ongoing events schedules of the participating bookstores -- so, I will issue "hot event alerts" to my newsletter subscribers, touting upcoming events at regional bookstores, and offering transit+fun to these events' cities... AND -- the branding of the programs, at their core -- the essence -- is Among Friends. People will go on these tours in order to have a good time with other people. And, I'm thinking about the slogan: "BiblioExpeditions: Carried Away!" -- to suggest the party aspect. I can use the 18 seat specially fixtured luxury buses, for instance, and run food and drink service during the travel. Here's a page describing and picturing such a bus.

We can have poetry reading, good conversation -- conviviality -- the atmosphere of a Literary Salon.

You know, it's a very funny thing: to be developing a business concept in public like this. I would say that it violates the basic principles of business, to talk about this stuff in a manner that almost INVITES pre-emption. If I hadn't had this experience in the past, I couldn't do it now. I love the whole Open Source ethic. If anyone reading this blog gets excited about anything you read here: by all means, get into this business yourself. These kinds of specially fixtured luxury- and party-buses are in use all over the country. Why shouldn't we literary types and booklovers integrate them into our marketing campaigns?

Enough for now. I hope to have some specific products/programs ready for sale in about two weeks.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Harvard Bookstore, Chester County, Politics & Prose

Continuing on my fact-finding and alliance-building tour, I spent the morning at Harvard Bookstore talking with marketing director Amanda Darling and owner Frank Kramer. The exciting new ideas keep on coming. My favorite was Amanda's notion of bringing professors on the buses to do the literary talking, instead of relying (solely, at least) on authors. She pointed out that a bus from Cambridge to Amherst could stop in South Hadley, pick up a professor from Mt. Holyoke College, and this prof could give a 20 minute lecture about Emily Dickinson and the bus continued up into Amherst to land at Emily Dickinson House! I love the idea of using college professors to provide the enhanced literary travel experiences of all kinds.

Tomorrow I leave Amherst at 3am to travel to Chester County Book Company, west of Philadelphia, where I'll meet with Joe Drabyak, current prez of NAIBA and a veteran of Larry Portzline's bookstore tour program (Larry brought a group to Chester County B.C. a few years ago). Then I'll continue south to see Carla Cohen at Politics & Prose, overnight in D.C., and return to Amherst Thursday morning.

At that point, I think I'll be ready to design the first batch of programs. While I still hope to have tickets for sale by the end of March, I now doubt that I'll really be running any tours in April. I think the first will be in May.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Food For Thought/Bookmarks

Last Wednesday I met with the worker/owners of Food For Thought, in Amherst, who seemed quite high on the proposal that their store be the pick-up/drop-off focal point of outgoing and incoming bookstore-tours to the Pioneer Valler.

Since Suzy Staubach, who runs the trade bookstore at University of Connecticut, told me a month ago that she'd be happy to act as a departure point, this means that right now I have a network composed of 1) Strand Books in New York; 2) Northshire Bookstore in Southwest Vermont; 3) Food For Thought in Amherst; 4) UConn Co-op in Storrs; 5) Politics & Prose in D.C.

Next week I hope to talk with the folks at Harvard Bookstore, in Cambridge. And -- Joe Drabyak of Chester County Book Company, outside of Philadelphia (he's current Prez of the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Assoc) says he's very interested, too, and we'll be meeting in the next week or two.

This then clears the way for me to design some tours for April, and ideally start selling tickets later in March.

Later this year, the Amherst/Northampton area will be the center of an elaborate book-related cluster of programs. Since this promotion -- called Bookmarks -- is specifically designed to boost cultural tourism to the area, it's a natural for a BiblioExpeditions functional tie-in. I'm posting the recent press release. Perhaps it can serve as inspiration for the development of analagous programs around the country!


Museums10 to Present BookMarks: A Celebration of the Art of the Book
Barry Moser’s Artwork Official Logo of Fall/Winter Festival

March 2, 2007
Contact: Tony Maroulis
Project Coordinator

AMHERST, Mass. – Museums10*, a partnership of ten museums in the upper Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, which is facilitated by Five Colleges, Inc., has announced plans for their second cross-cultural initiative: BookMarks: A Celebration of the Art of the Book. Artwork created by Barry Moser, nationally renowned artist and illustrator of over 250 books, will serve as the official logo of the upcoming series of exhibitions, readings, and programming that officially kicks off in September 2007 and runs through January 2008.

The mission of the three-year-old partnership is to promote the region using the museums as a magnet for cultural tourism, in turn spurring a measurable economic impact for cultural partners and businesses throughout the Valley. Based on the success of last year’s GoDutch! there is evidence that the Museums10 collaborative model works. GoDutch! exhibitions and programming corresponded with a 15% increase in aggregate attendance at the museums, bucking a downward trend in national museum attendance overall.

With a robust slate of events, and by using the Valley’s literary pedigree as inspiration, Museums10 is confident that the BookMarks initiative will bring a great deal of regional and national interest to Western Massachusetts. That confidence is shared by local Chambers of Commerce and The Greater Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau, who have pledged their support to Museums10 for this project.

The BookMarks logo by Barry Moser, an engraving created by the artist exclusively for this year’s initiative, will be the centerpiece of a comprehensive marketing plan that includes radio, print, television, and web advertising. Museums10 hopes to increase their visibility beyond the borders of Western Massachusetts and into the New York City and Boston areas to reach the market for cultural tourists. The local advertising by Museums10 will be geared to informing its local audience of the world-class museum collections in their backyards.

The collaboration is not limited to Museums10, and is intended to create ties among cultural organizations and businesses throughout the Valley. Programmatic partners such as the Amherst Cinema Arts Center and Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association – whose contributions to the collaboration will include programming related to the BookMarks theme – as well as economic partners such as restaurants, booksellers, hotels and inns will benefit from Museums10’s promotion of the project outside the region.

“The collective energy around BookMarks programming and exhibitions highlights the creative activity and economy of Western Massachusetts,” says Marianne Doezema, director of the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum. “The stunning logo by Barry Moser is a perfect example of the area’s rich pool of talent. The world class collections, history museums, performing arts venues, and art galleries along with the great numbers of notable artists, writers, bookmakers, and people in the literary fields throughout Hampden, Hampshire, and Franklin counties are just part of the rich tapestry that makes the Pioneer Valley a great place to live, work, or visit.”

Plans for BookMarks will highlight the rich literary history and culture of the region, as well as the work of contemporary local artists. A full listing of Museums10/BookMarks exhibitions can be found at Below is a sampling of what’s ahead:

Two by Two: Lines, Rhymes, and Riddles at the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum featuring the poetry and artwork of the Leithauser brothers – local prize-winning poet and Mount Holyoke professor Brad and his brother and artist Mark.

Poetic Science: Bookworks by Daniel E. Kelm at the Smith College Museum of Art. This is the first solo exhibition in New England of the Easthampton-based artist and bookbinder featuring thirty works by the artist.

Spiderwick from Page to Screen at The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art. The transformation of the words and pictures of Amherst residents Holly Black and Tony diTerlizzi’s Spiderwick Chronicles to the silver screen will be the focus of the Carle’s BookMarks offering.

In addition to the exhibition schedule, Museums10 is also sponsoring three themed programming weekends: The Art of the Book will be the focus of lectures, events, and programming from September 20-23; October 12-14 will feature Books Out Loud with readings at museums and independent bookstores throughout the Valley; and from November 15-18, The Book: Past and Future will look at where the book is headed in the digital age and beyond.

“The process of planning BookMarks has been an eye-opening experience. We have invited a number of key constituencies to the table – among them book sellers, librarians, and business leaders - to help us plan events around our exhibitions. The ideas have proved plentiful and exciting. We think there will be something in BookMarks for everyone,” said Doezema. “There is still plenty of time and opportunity for businesses and programmatic partners to get involved.”

There is no cost for businesses and cultural institutions to participate in this unique cross-promotional project. For more details, please contact Tony Maroulis, Museums10 project coordinator at

Museums10 is a partnership of ten outstanding museums - Amherst College Museum of Natural History, Emily Dickinson Museum: The Homestead and The Evergreens, The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Hampshire College Art Gallery, Historic Deerfield, Mead Art Museum at Amherst College, Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, National Yiddish Book Center, Smith College Museum of Art, and University Gallery at UMass Amherst – in one gorgeous place: the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. For more information about Museums10, please visit

Friday, February 23, 2007

Northshire/Food For Thought

Quick update: I had a great visit to Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, VT, on Wednesday. The store expanded a few years ago and it looks really terrific. (It looked terrific last time I was there too -- but that was 19 years ago!) I met with Chris Morrow and Marie Leahy, who both had a lot of great ideas, including drawing publishers in to this whole game as sponsors and providers of author events.

(Coincidence: Marie moved from Flatbush, Brooklyn up to Vermont this past year, and she used to be a customer at Vox Pop (the store I helped launch, with Sander Hicks and Holley Anderson, and which published my book)!)

Also, there will be a big meeting of tour packagers from Europe next month: people looking to understand the destinations in Vermont that they can build into their offerings to German and British travelers. I'll definitely hit that meeting!

It was fun to see Ed and Barbara Morrow, too -- I think it's been about 15 years since I used to see them regularly at American Booksellers Association committee meetings.

I'll have a meeting with the worker-owners of Food For Thought, in Amherst, next Wednesday. I'm hopeful that they'll agree to be the pick-up and drop-off affiliate here -- this would then permit me to start operating in Amherst right when the company launches, instead of waiting for an extra month or two, as I was beginning to fear I might have to do. What's funny and fun is that because I'm currently finishing up my B.A. through the University of Massachusetts' University Without Walls program, I am going to be able to get undergraduate credit for launching BiblioExpeditions. It's an Independent Study project! And my advisor is Sara Lennox, the director of the UMass program in Social Thought. Well, Food For Thought Bookstore as it turns out was itself a group student project that emerged from this very Social Thought department, back in 1981! Pretty amazing -- an employee-owned co-op bookstore, one of the leading bookstores in the Valley -- was a student project! And now I'm (hopefully) in the process of linking yet another cooperative-type bookselling company with it -- also emerging from the Social Thought dept.