When you live in Minnesota, falling on the ice during winter is a given. The experience usually only results in a bruised ego, but this winter one of my little slips landed me at the surgeon’s. In early February, I fractured my fibula and had to get a metal plate and six screws to correct the injury. And let me tell you: three weeks on crutches and another month in a walking boot was not very fun… especially on ice… during one of most treacherous winters Minnesotans have ever seen. But in reality, the crutches and the boot were only minor annoyances in comparison to my anxiety over what this injury would cost me. As a full-time bookseller, my savings account is not exactly padded, nor do I have any paid sick time to speak of. All in all, I missed over seven days of work (a couple due to limited mobility during a particularly vicious blizzard a couple days after my surgery). I was stressed out, to say the least.
When I first learned of Binc, I assumed it was too good to be true. A foundation devoted completely to helping distressed booksellers? No way. An application that only takes about 15 minutes to fill out? Yeah, right. Plus, I figured that even if it weren’t all a dream, there’d be no way I’d get the money. So imagine my surprise when two days after receiving my application, I got an email from Binc explaining that they were going to cover my lost wages. INSANITY! Even now, as I sit down to write this blog post, I still can’t believe this all happened. Binc made it incredibly easy for me to apply for assistance, their review process was extremely fast, and their staff made me feel so great. Kit and Pam so graciously answered all the questions I had and kept me updated on every step of the process. I am so very grateful to Binc for taking this financial burden off of my shoulders. The reality is that more often than not, being a bookseller means an unstable financial situation, but we love what we do. Binc’s mission is to keep us in business, even when we’re hit with life’s unexpected circumstances. I have been telling everyone I know about this wonderful foundation—I hope that booksellers everywhere are aware of the amazing and necessary things Binc is doing to keep us and our industry thriving!
-Sarah Engelmann, Bookseller Common Good Books, Saint Paul, MN