Woman Crowdfunds to Open the Only Bookstore in the Bronx

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By: Krystle Crossman

Noëlle Santos is on a mission. She has started a crowdfunding campaign in order to bring a bookstore to the Bronx. What is so special about this bookstore? It would be the only one in the Bronx. Ever since Barnes & Noble closed at the Bay Plaza Shopping Center there has not been a single bookstore in the city. Santos has started an Indiegogo campaign to try and raise funds to open a bookstore called The Lit Bar. So far she has received almost $50,000 in support from people around the globe. She also won $7,500 in a competition put on by the New York City library. She came in second place in the competition which was for people who are proposing a start up businesses.

Santos says that the bookstore would represent the culture that it is surrounded by. She feels the businesses in areas with diverse cultures serve their community better when they represent the diverse city that they are located in. She says that the area where The Lit Bar will be is mainly Hispanic and African-American. The books at the bookstore will reflect this but will have many other cultures as well. She wants to install a wine bar in the bookstore so that it can become a social spot for people who would like to drink and read with friends. People can come to buy books, read books, drink wine, and have conversations about whatever their heart desires.

Santos put together a video proposal for her store and said that she wants to break the stigma of the Bronx only being for clothing and shoes and shopping centers. She wants people to realize that the Bronx is full of culture and supports the arts as well. Santos says that many people do not think of the Bronx as a place with intellectuals. She is hoping that her wine bar/bookstore will change that stigma and show that there are intellectual people who can come to sip wine and talk about books and other social issues. After seeing her campaign on social media, Michael Moore, a popular filmmaker, donated $5,000 to the campaign. He was distraught at the fact that there is no bookstore anywhere in the Bronx anymore and sent out a message on social media to try and help fund the campaign.

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