Saturday, February 4, 2017

Sponsor Letter, February 4th 2017

Hi Everyone,

First off, the great news -- we've met our goal of 300 sponsors already.  In fact, we're currently at 515.  Thank you all for the support and for keeping our doors open through 2017!

Of course, if you haven't renewed yet, it is never too late.  Additional sponsorship income goes into the bank and, if all goes well, will be the kernel of the down payment for a building to house the store when our lease expires in 2021.  And, of course, if you renew you'll continue to get all the lovely sponsor perks like getting to read my deathless prose every month.  You can sign up on-line <>, in person at the store, by phone with a credit card (toll free 888 893-4008), or with a check by physical mail.

But, if you've decided to let your sponsorship lapse, I understand completely and I appreciate beyond words your support over the last year.  Just so you know, if you do not renew your sponsorship by March 31st, you will stop getting these emails.  In case you'd like to come back later, we will hold your number for you until March 31st of 2019.  After that, if you return, you'll get a new, higher number (we're over sponsor number 1000 now, so you onesies, twosies, and threesies should be proud).  Even if you have not renewed your sponsorship yet, you are welcome to come to the party on February 11th (that might even be a good time to renew, if you like).

Regardless of whether you renew or not, you've allowed me and my friends to keep doing the thing we love.  I owe you and, if there is ever something I can do to repay that, please let me know.

Last thing -- I've a favor to ask.  At our quarterly sponsor parties I like to have a pair of local guests, one a retailer and the other a beverage maker. If you know anyone who runs a local business that you think would be neat to feature at our parties, please let me know because we're always looking for guests.  There isn't any strict standard that I use to choose them, it just needs to be local and something neat that I think our sponsors would enjoy.

Thanks a million,

1) The first sponsor social of 2017 will be on Saturday, February 11th from 7 pm to 11 pm.  Our quarterly parties are usually well-attended and a lot of fun (not to mention a great place to meet new friends).  Our special guests this quarter will be the folks from Bernal Cutlery <>.

2) UC Berkeley Diversity In Comics Event - Sunday, February 26th at 2pm - come check out comics and graphic novels from around the world. Exhibit is free and you are welcome to bring a guest.

3)  Our annual Sponsors' General Meeting will be on Friday, March 31st at 7 pm in the Cafe.  A chance to talk about how we're doing, where we're going, and to give us your advice.

1) The first sponsor social of 2017 will be on Saturday, February 11th from 7 pm to 11 pm.  Our quarterly socials are free-form, come-as-you-are, pot-luck and BYOB parties.  There's lots of conversation, board games at the back of the cafe, free reading copies of upcoming books that caught our attention, and a door prize drawing.    Also, for this party, our friends at Bernal Cutlery <> are going to be our retail guests.  They'll be demonstrating how to sharpen knives as well as having some of their lovely knives and sharpening supplies for sale.

The social is a great place to meet folks and just hang out with a bunch of avid, avid readers. If you've never been, you really should come.  You're welcome to bring one guest and RSVPs are very much appreciated.  Food and drinks are always a welcome addition to the party so feel free to bring your favorite booze, signature dish or just a six pack.  The party takes place at the store / cafe and entrance is through the cafe door.  I hope to see you there.

2) On Sunday, February 26th at 2pm, we're going to visit the "Beyond Tintin and Superman: The Diversity of Global Comics" exhibition at the Bernice Layne Brown Gallery, Doe Library at the UC Berkeley.  On the advice of a sponsor, we're going to check out this exhibit of comics and graphic novels from around the world.  From their website: "These materials often reflect the socioeconomic, ideological and political realities of the societies in which they are produced. . . . Comics and graphic novels portray differences by selectively intensifying various contradictions generated in society by censorship, race relations, political agendas and gender biases.  Some of the comics that are displayed may raise issues that are highly contradictory or painful to contemplate. . . the curatorial team encourages you to dissect, deconstruct, analyze and enjoy the pictorial narratives that these items portray!"  The exhibit is free and you are welcome to bring a guest.  We'll meet outside the Gallery at 2 pm, and it should take no longer than an hour to see the exhibit.  The UC campus is easily accessible from the Downtown Berkeley BART station.  If you live in San Francisco and would like a ride, or can provide a carpool, please RSVP and let us know so we can help arrange transportation. The Doe Library is in the middle of campus, directly west of Sather Tower.  The Brown Gallery is on the first floor, off of the North entrance.  Directions are here: and you can find more information about the exhibit here:

3)  Sponsors' General Meeting on Friday, March 31st at 7:00 pm.  I'd really like to have a chance to talk with you about how things have gone through our second year as a sponsored store.  I want to know what we've done right, what we've done wrong, and what we can do better -- as well as answering any questions you have.  Also, this is where I talk about my ideas and plans for the future, especially the upcoming year.  It's sort of like a cross between a share-holders meeting and a big advisory board meeting.  I'll outline where we're at and then ask for comments.  I hope to see as many of you there as possible because some of the topics on my mind are pretty important, and I'd love to hear your thoughts.  If you can't attend in person, feel free to email me with your comments (we'll email a report on the meeting a week or two afterwards).

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