FOREVER A BINC-ISTA
By Denise Chávez
Binc Scholarship Winner
I am a bookseller from Casa Camino Real in Las Cruces, New Mexico. I am also the recipient of a Binc scholarship to the American Bookseller’s Winter Institute in Minneapolis. As a native Southern New Mexican to whom a 70° day signals a cold spell, it was hard to ponder a trip in the winter. Fear of flying. Fear of cold. Fear of leaving the cats, including my feral cat colony. All these elements made me ponder the monumental decision of leaving home. And yes, the decision was made!
I was so honored to receive the Binc scholarship. A fledgling bookseller along with my husband, Daniel Zolinsky, our bookstore, Casa Camino Real, on the Border of New Mexico, Texas and Northern México, serves the corridor between worlds, focusing on Southwestern, Regional, Native American, Latino, as well as Multi-Cultural books in many languages.
To say this scholarship changed my life is an understatement. I met intelligent, articulate and committed book activists during the conference. To spend these days in panels, workshops and sessions with these admirable and strong-hearted souls was a great blessing. Learning the book business is a daily exercise, and requires both patience and stamina, as well as a will to advance the great and throbbing human heart of the world that lives and breathes though the great gift of story.
As both a writer and bookseller, it is my don, my gift to work with books. Don is the word in Spanish for a gift or blessing. As a Mexican-American bookseller, it is my Manda, my responsibility and charge, to encourage the diversity and richness of multicultural books, most especially in this time of challenge for us in the U.S. We are surrounded by those who fear books and what they teach us—the loving expansion that allows us to feel one with those from different backgrounds, cultures, ethnicities and life paths. As readers, we connect with the heart and spirit of the authors we read. We learn from them and grow in empathy and understanding.
It was a great joy to talk to Roger from Maria’s Bookstore in Durango, Colorado, about the books of the Spanish novelist, Roberto Bolaño, and to have ABA CEO Oren Teicher visit our historic adobe bookstore on the Camino Real and discuss the work of one of my favorite writers, Thomas Wolfe. As a lover of books, I never have enough opportunities to discuss the writers I love and appreciate.
The random and so important conversations in the many corridors and nooks and even bathrooms of the sprawling, impressive, and sometimes overwhelming Hyatt Regency afforded me the chance to sit with the Binc Family, Director Pamela French and her wonderful staff, Kathy Bartson and Kit Steinaway, and learn of the powerful work Binc does to support booksellers in need. I would not have been able to attend the Winter Institute were it not for the scholarship.
It was an honor to be selected—not only as someone who lives in remote part of the Southwest, but also—as a Mexican-American/Chicana who works hard to connect with the multicultural and Spanish language speaking community at Casa Camino Real, where a bilingual children’s book is the norm. Our readers are hungry to hear their voices and to see images of their lives reflected in books. I remember taking author Malin Alegría, author of Estrella’s Quinceañera, to a nearby valley elementary school in Vado, New Mexico, and hearing a young student say to her, “Miss, you’re my color!” No one had ever taken a Latino/Latina writer to their school and to see Malin there was a miracle to the young girl.
As a bookseller, one daily witness’s miracles. When a reader finds a book they have been looking for, it brings joy to both buyer and seller. And in a small way, each book is a miracle of faith and commitment.
Binc, the Book Industry Charitable Foundation, is a purveyor and witness to miracles. Helping booksellers in need, with valued resources in times of great challenge—it stands firm with its constituents, bolstering, uplifting, and encouraging them in manifold and monumental ways.
I am a proud BINC-ISTA—someone who knows the don, the gift of a Binc scholarship, and of the organization’s far-reaching and visionary work. My connection to Binc is a precious and valued gift that means more than words can ever say—and I am a writer!
I will always be a BINC-ISTA and will do all I can to encourage my fellow booksellers to promote and support this wonderful, needed, and valuable organization.
¡Muchíssimas Gracias, Binc! Thank you for your gift of faith!
Casa Camino Real Bookstore
314 South Tornillo Street
Las Cruces, New Mexico 88001
While in Minneapolis for Winter Institute 12 the Binc board and staff hosted a celebratory dinner in honor of long-standing supporters, including Binc Co-Ambassador Ann Patchett.
To celebrate the progress made over the past five years friends of the Foundation from across the industry gathered at Union Rooftop for an evening of gratitude and thanks. Many who have helped the Foundation from day-one were honored, including:
The American Booksellers Association
Oren, the board of directors and the entire staff have helped raise awareness of Binc in additional to providing financial support.
Regional Book Association Executive Directors
This dedicated and fierce group not only helped raise awareness but have continued to ask how they can help. Many thanks to Eileen, Brian, Laura, Andrea, Calvin, Steve, Carrie and Binc board members Wanda and Deb.
Ingram Content Group
From the very first event in 2012 to their expanded support in 2016 Ingram Content Group has been on our side. We cannot thank them enough for their support these past five years, and for being our top corporate donor in 2016.
Their very generous in-kind donations have expanded awareness of Binc throughout the country and the book industry. 21% of booksellers first learned about Binc from Shelf Awareness.
Mike McKnight – Basil Bookseller Software
Because of Mike’s request we created a new category of donors, the corporate sustaining donor. Basil Bookseller Software became Binc’s first corporate sustaining donor. Thank you!
Christine Curry – A Novel Experience
We are grateful to Christine for signing up to be the first sustaining store donor. Yay, A Novel Experience!
Several Northern California bookstores were recognized for their long-standing support. Books Inc. was recognized as the first bookstore in the country to offer employees the option to donate to the Foundation through payroll deduction. And Books, Inc. is also the first in the country to match employee donations dollar-for-dollar up to $100 per employee.
And Copperfield’s Books was recognized for not only being a sustaining monthly donor but also for offering donations via payroll deduction. In addition, Copperfield’s has the most employees donating to Binc through payroll deduction.
In our hometown, we send our thanks to Hilary, Mike and all the book ninjas at Literati. They held the first bookstore fundraising event to benefit the Foundation by donating 50% of their sales to celebrate their one-year anniversary.
Village Books – Chuck Robinson
Chuck took to the roads and included the Foundation as one of the charities to benefit from his 2015 bike adventure across the U.S. Chuck and his supporters donated $9,550 and through 2015 was the single largest fundraising effort for Binc.
Our friends at Sourcebooks become the first publisher to match their employee’s donations dollar-for-dollar. Many thanks to Sean Murray for leading the effort and energizing the team at Sourcebooks to repeat their generosity for two years.
Above the Treeline
They were the first to contribute digital ad space in-kind and maintain the top spot for click-through rate on both the Binc Scholarship Program and the annual Campaign-to-Sustain.
We would not have made the progress we have over the past five years without the support of Harper Sales rep Kate McCune. She is not only the first publisher sales rep to serve on the Binc board of directors but also the first sales rep advocate. And Kate introduced Ann Patchett to Binc!
In 2016, the Parnassus team came together to help out one of their own and created the Bank on Booksellers auction. The event was so successful that they were able to help Steph and also booksellers across the country with the new largest single donation to Binc of $18,001! Thank you does not begin to convey how much their generosity has helped booksellers.
Ann Patchett – Binc Co-Ambassador
Our inaugural ambassador has shared her time, expertise, connections and generously donated to Binc. She has whole-heartedly embraced the Foundation’s mission to help improve the lives of booksellers. The course of the Foundation has changed because of her support.
Pam French, Binc Executive Director says, “Our book industry friends have led the way in the effort for Binc to become sustainable. Their support has allowed the Foundation to help 168 families over the past five years with $332,000 in emergency grants. I cannot thank them enough!”
If you would like to get involved, get your store signed up as a sustaining donor or join the
payroll deduction program, click here for the simple instructions. Or you can contact Kathy Bartson at 734-471-0201 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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