REDMOND — The future of Redmond’s lone independent bookstore rests in the hands of local bibliophiles.
Kaci Aslamov, who was born and raised in Redmond, is hoping to buy Paulina Springs Books in Redmond from owners Brad Smith and Cynthia Claridge, who also own Paulina Springs Books in Sisters. But because of technicalities involved in separating the two businesses — Smith was not able to provide bank officials with exact profit-and-loss statements for the Redmond store alone — Aslamov has not been able to receive a business loan.
And that’s where she hopes book lovers from Central Oregon and beyond come into play.
Aslamov, 35, is seeking to raise $25,000 on the crowdsourcing website Indiegogo to help purchase Paulina Springs Books in Redmond, which she plans to rename Herringbone Books. Smith and Claridge have agreed to carry the bank note for Aslamov but are asking for $25,000 as a down payment.
“We knew going in (to the sale) this could be a problem with lenders,” Smith said Monday about the two stores sharing one set of books. “Kaci had a lending officer that was really supportive who worked really hard with me. We tried to come up with ways that met their needs, but in the end their supervisors passed on it.
“We needed to come up with another plan, and Kaci came up with this idea.”
As of Monday, Aslamov had raised $3,895 with 13 days remaining for sponsors to donate money. Aslamov only receives money if she hits her stated goal of $25,000. If the campaign comes up short, backers will not be on the hook for any donations.
“This (project) is exactly what crowdsourcing is for,” Aslamov said about raising funds for a nontraditional sale. “The challenge we’re facing is that even if people understand crowdsourcing, they don’t always understand why we’re having to resort to it.”
Smith and his sister Claridge opened their Redmond store in 2007, four years after Smith purchased Paulina Springs Books in Sisters. Due to health issues, Smith put the Redmond shop on the market earlier this year.
“I need to simplify life, if you will,” he said. “I need to work a lot less than I am.”
Aslamov hopes to expand on what Smith and Claridge started by continuing to be a community resource for all things literary, great and small.
“I really want to continue what they’ve got going,” Aslamov said. “Author events and maybe even more community events like literary workshops and bookbinding classes. … Just giving people a place to go where they don’t have to go to Bend.”
Paulina Springs Books in Redmond is one of the few remaining independent bookstores in Central Oregon that sells new books. In Bend, Dudley’s Bookshop Cafe and Pegasus Books are locally owned, as of course is Smith’s original Paulina Springs Books in Sisters.
“Libraries and bookstores are pretty central to healthy communities,” Smith said. “The arts, music, literature, they’re what makes humans human.
“Bookstores are a meeting place of minds who appreciate books,” he continued. “They’re very similar and different to libraries. The two play really important roles together for the health of a community.”
— Reporter: 541-617-7829, firstname.lastname@example.org