Thursday, December 15, 2016

Pre-Order 2017 Sponsorships

Hello Dear Sponsors,

I hope that December is treating you all very, very well.  We've been busy around the shop (which is a great thing) and it's made us very happy to see so many of you out and about.

As promised, the web page is ready for you to pre-order your 2017 sponsorships.  The link is .  As you will see there, your credit card will not be charged until January 1st, 2017.

If you would prefer to stop by in person to renew, you're welcome to do so but . . . it's a little bit easier for us if you do so by credit card or by check.  We'll take cash (of course!) but it takes a little extra handling.

Likewise, if you want to mail a check, please do -- but, if you would post-date it January 1st, 2017, that will make things easier for us.  And yes, all this hoop-jumping is to keep the taxes simple and the tax-folks happy.

Thank you all for your support through 2016 and thank you for considering the same for 2017.  I think that we're doing something really wonderful with the sponsor program but, moreso, I think that we are doing something really wonderful with Borderlands.  We've made a place that feels like home to so many people (for example, we hosted our third wedding at the shop just a few weeks ago).  Given that the world may seem like a darker and scarier place right now, I and the rest of the staff consider it an honor to be able to give people a sense of comfort and belonging.

And I'm honored by the faith you've shown me with your trust and belief that we can keep going strong.

I hope that this month and the New Year bring you joy, peace, love and all that you could possibly wish.

Warmest Regards,

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Sponsor Letter, December 8th 2016

Hey Everybody,

It's almost time to prove again that what we started last year actually works.  I'm a bit scared and excited at the same time.  Last year we started the sponsor program and saved Borderlands.  This year showed that it wasn't a one-time fluke.  But 2017 is going to be the final test.  In 2015 we had around 850 sponsors.  This year we had around 650.  That is, roughly, a 25% drop.  To be honest, that is better than I was expecting.

In 2015, Borderlands closing was big news.  People were paying attention and emotions were high.  Being a sponsor in 2015 was a statement.  It was, if you will, a shout out to the world, "Dammit, bookstores matter!"  It was a punch in the face to all the things that have, over the years, closed our beloved bookstores (and record shops and video rental joints).

But being a sponsor in 2016 was a different sort of statement.  It was, delivered in a flat, dispassionate growl, "I'm going to keep Borderlands open."  It was the start of a wrestling match on the barroom floor; a match that might go on 'til last call.  So, it's no surprise that fewer people want to sign up for that sort of fight.

Which is not to say that I don't appreciate the hell out of the people who stood up in 2015, took a swing, and then went on to another good fight.  Their sheer numbers sent me and plenty of other people a message that we needed.

This year is going to send me a message as well.  If we drop by another 25% this year, down to around 400 sponsors or so, I'm going to have some serious concerns about this working over the long term.  Because that progression means we barely make the 300 we need come 2018.  And, in 2019, we won't make it and we're closing.

On or around the 15th of this month, the web-page for sponsor renewals will go live (I'll be sending a short note to you to let you know when that happens).  I'm hoping that you'll all decide to go another round with us but, if you decide not to, thank you so much for your support -- we've had a good year and we've done some great things.  Without you, we wouldn't have had this year or the last one.  So, thank you all from the bottom of my heart.  Have a peaceful and calm holiday, and may the New Year bring you all you wish.

All Best,

PS  A big thank you to the folks who made the last sponsor social a big success: Meg, our fantastic tarot reader <> whose efforts were much appreciated by all.  Philip Cuadra, founder of San Francisco's Highlawn Wine Company <>, who plied our guests with some very tasty beverages.  And our DJ, Steven R. Boyett <>.  Steve recorded his mix from that night and has it here for your delectation <listen -   download / playlist (mix is called "Funk by the Book" - )

The Twitter Version
1) We'll be hosting a brief private reception for a small group of sponsors with James S.A. Corey (aka Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck), on Saturday December 10th at 4 pm, before their public event at the store.  If you would like to be in the drawing to attend the private event, please reply to this email and say so (and, do look at the details in the next section of this note).

2) We'll be touring the offices of the Long Now Foundation at Fort Mason Center (2 Marina Blvd. Fort Mason Center Bldg. A San Francisco, CA 94123) on Monday, December 12th at 7:00 pm.  You're welcome to bring a guest but please RSVP to

3) Thanks to the Balboa Theatre <> and SF in SF <>, Borderlands Sponsors have an opportunity to attend a special preview of the new Star Wars movie "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" at 7 pm on Thursday, December 15th.  For details, email and mention that you're a Borderlands Sponsor.

4) Bringing in the new year, we'll take a tour of the Speakeasy Brewery on Saturday, January 14th at 2:15 pm.  There will be a small charge for the tour and guests are welcome.

5) I, and several other folks, thought it might be nice to have a little social gathering on Friday, January 20th to mark an event that is, at the very least, slightly science-fictional and surreal.  So, we'll be getting together at the store for cookies, tea and company from 7 pm to 10 pm.  Guests are very welcome and, if you've got cookies that you're especially proud of, please do bring some.

6) The first sponsor social of 2017 will be on Saturday, February 11th from 7 pm to 11 pm.

7) We're going to take a group visit to UC Berkeley's Doe Library exhibition, "Beyond Tintin and Superman: The Diversity of Global Comics", on Sunday, February 26th at 2 pm.