Mellow Pages, the beloved open-source library and reading room located on the first floor of 56 Bogart, needs your help: founders Jacob Perkins and Matt Nelson are asking their community to support the space with a newly launched Indiegogo campaign while the Mellow Pages gang figures out its next steps.
Mellow Pages has been been open for less than a year and, although it opened on the heels of other Bushwick literary hot spots Molasses Books and Human Relations bookstore, its immediate popularity has proved that it well deserves a place in the community, even if it’s an less-than-profitable passion project. The one-room book hub is on a light-flooded corner of the enormous studio complex building it calls home, and it houses over 3,000 small press books and zines; Perkins and Nelson take pride in carrying literature that can’t be found anywhere else. To become a member, individuals can either pay the $20 annual membership fee or check out the Mellow Pages Wish List for titles they may be able to track down and donate to the space. Its 200 active members have the opportunity to borrow titles to bring home from the library, and the space has become a community mainstay since it launched last February. It functions as a gathering place for readings and live events, staging everything from a low-key lounge zone during Bushwick Open Studios to an almost-Kanye concert.
However, Mellow Pages is far from a cash cow, the space’s financial future is currently somewhat murky, and Perkins and Nelson are not sure how they want to approach covering their operating expenses going forward. Thus far they’ve functioned on the belief that everyone should be able to afford access to the library, so they’re reluctant to raise their $20 dollar annual membership fee; for the moment, they’re reaching out to their friends and neighbors for support. Their IndieGoGo campaign is designated to raise money that will cover their modest operating budget for the coming year, allowing them to further establish their presence in the community (although no word on what happens after that – it’s unclear whether Mellow Pages might end up having an annual fundraising drive). Check out the site for more on the project. They tell us that “At this point, if we don’t reach our goal, our lives will have to take priority, which basically means an end will vaguely, though pretty certainly, be on the horizon” – which nobody wants. Bushwick Daily is wishing the Mellow Pages crew the best of luck. We’ve already lost one neighborhood staple too many this fall.