In a post saying "we're struggling," Left Bank Books asks customers for orders, even donations, as sales have been less than half of what they were this time last year.
"The last two months of the year account for one-third of our whole year's revenue - and this month, we’re 46% behind October of last year," write co-owners Kris Kleindienst and Jarek Steele.
"Does this scare you? It scares us."
In an email to customers this week, they suggest early ordering of books for holiday gifts or making an appointment to visit (the store only recently offered limited in-store shopping).
They also write:
"You can even just make a donation. Every little bit helps.
"Please start soon, please start now. Publishers’ control of reprints and shipping times is uncertain as everyone in the supply chain tries to safely operate their business. The sooner you place your orders or come in to browse by appointment, the more certain you can be of finding what you want. And the more certain we can be of being able to celebrate our 52nd birthday with you next July."
In an interview earlier this month, Kleindienst said the store had solid sales over the summer but that revenue had dropped recently. She said it was participating in the American Booksellers Association's "Boxed Out" campaign against Amazon.com, writing by email:
"I don't think we are in danger of closing so far, but we aren't in danger of breaking even right now either without a continued and concerted effort on all fronts from federal to customer support. We are working very hard and have deep roots and community support, so I do not believe we are on the front line of stores at immediate risk. Only if we continually work at it, though."