Book fair provides fundraiser for ‘Tale’ project

Saturday, February 4, 2012 
By Ben Beagle

The four independent bookstores in Genesee, Orleans and Wyoming counties are teaming up to help raise money for the “A Tale for Three Counties” community reading project.

Beginning Tuesday, each of the stores will be hosting a book fair where a portion of customer purchases will be set aside for the Tale project. The fair is scheduled through Feb. 11.

“I like and believe in the ‘Tale for Three Counties’ event, and I like finding a way to offer something that rewards both the customer and a good organization,” said Ann Burlingham, owner of Burlingham Books, 2 South Main St., Perry.

Also participating in the book fair are: Present Tense, 101 Washington Ave., Batavia; The Book Shoppe, 519 Main St., Medina; and Bindings Bookstore, 28 West Bank St., Albion.

“Our bookstores have been supporters and promoters of ‘A Tale for Three Counties’ from the beginning, and they have now upped that support with the Tale Book Fair,” said Leslie DeLooze, the reference and community services librarian at Richmond Memorial Library, Batavia, who has led the Tale project since its beginning a decade ago. “Supporting our local stores will in turn support a local reading event, and that’s great news for everyone.”

The Book Shoppe got involved, said owner Sue Phillips, “because the ‘Tale for Three Counties’ is a terrific community reading program that we like to support in any way we can.”

Tale, a project organized by public libraries in the three counties and Genesee Community College, encourages readers to pick up the same book to read, attend book discussions and then meet the author during a series of visits. This year’s book selection — the program’s 10th — is “The Call” by Yannick Murphy.

Participating in the book fair is easy. Just shop at any of the bookstores and submit a voucher with your purchase (The Book Shoppe does not require a voucher). A percentage of the proceeds will be donated to the Tale project, and vouchers will be entered in a special prize drawing.

Vouchers are available on the Tale website, store websites, and at local libraries. Customers may submit multiple vouchers during the book fair.

“This is a new adventure and we’re happy to be part of, especially if it helps get the word out into the communities of what a great program this is,” said Phillips.

Each book store is a sponsor of the Tale project, and store owners and staff have frequently participated in Tale events as members of the community. The stores’ own book clubs often feature the Tale book as a spring discussion.

“I personally enjoy the program,” said Carolyn Ricker, owner of Bindings. “As a small bookstore in a remote area it can be challenging to get popular authors to participate in a book signing. I appreciate the efforts of the counties to work together and bring an author to our area. It promotes literacy and community.”

The idea for a book fair developed through conversations between Present Tense owner Erica Caldwell and Tale representatives who were looking for new fundraising options.

Tale is supported largely by grants and donations, with a budget of about $14,000 stretched to cover author appearance fees, travel expenses, advertising and supplying books to high school libraries and college students.

“While we have a stable funding base and a large number of donors, there are always situations where a donor might not be able to contribute at the level of previous years, or where grant funding is reduced,” DeLooze said.

Earlier this year, Tale participated in the United Way fundraiser, ROC the Day, which earned a small amount of money for the project. The book fair is another effort to supplement existing funding sources and “generous sponsors who sometimes are in the position of both supporting the project financially and also working to promote it within or through their organization,” DeLooze said.

Caldwell has organized book fairs at her store for several years to help fundraising efforts of area non-profits such as school groups, art clubs and churches.

” ‘A Tale for Three Counties’ is a great literary program and we are very excited to have the opportunity to help both raise money for the organization and raise awareness about the community reading program with out customers,” Caldwell said.

Book fairs, she said, “provide a fun, easy way for these organization to raise money and they encourage shopping locally. There is no limiti to how much a group can earn with a book fair and it underscores how important local businesses are to the community; we care about these local organizations because we live and work right here in the same neighborhood.”


Where to participate

Bookstores participating in the “A Tale for Three Counties” book fair are:

* Present Tense Books, 101 Washington Ave., Batavia; (585) 815-7640;
* Burlingham Books, 2 South Main St., Perry; (585) 237-3190;
* The Book Shoppe, 519 Main St., Medina; (585) 798-3642;
* Bindings Bookstore, 28 West Bank St., Albion; (585) 283-4498;
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Courtesy of Batavia Newspapers Corporation

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