Back in March, I wrote about a bookstore coming to the Bronx. Independent bookstores “are viable businesses and important community hubs,” I wrote. Case in point is our local bookstore, Porter Square Books, which has become a neighborhood institution, a constant hub of community activity. So it wasn’t a surprise when the store announced its “Be the Change” program a few months ago.
“In her electric speech to several hundred booksellers, Roxane Gay talked about how bookstores can be refuges, safe spaces for people to find solace, quiet, and thoughtfulness in books. They are places of culture and places of community. We want to continue to be a refuge for everyone in our community and so you are always welcome to come in, browse our books, read through them, and spend some quiet moments away from the rest of the world. …
It is also clear that in this tumultuous time our community wants to do…something. Bookstores have always had a responsibility to provide the resources their communities need and to meet this new need, we are launching Be the Change, a civic engagement program to provide the resources to those who want to make change at all levels of government and in society in general.
That’s what being a bookstore is all about!
Today, I went to the bookstore’s monthly Be the Change event. This one was about volunteerism. It was under-attended, perhaps expected for a holiday weekend. I learned of several organisations that were new to me, which I’m thankful for.