Thursday, December 15, 2011

Seeking independent businesses to hire for bookstore buildout

La Casa Azul Bookstore is opening soon in East Harlem, and is looking for the following:

Must be licensed in NYC
Company/person should be available to work on floor plan this month. 
Provide: contact information, 2 references and website with sample work or images of sample work.
Write RA or PE on the subject line. 

Must be licensed in NYC
Company/person should be available to complete the job during the months of January and February.
Able to subcontract electrician and plumber.
Provide: contact information, 2 references and website with sample work or images of sample work.
Write CONTRACTOR on the subject line. 

Provide: contact information, 2 references and links to sample work.
Write WEBSITE DEVELOPER on the subject line.  
Thank you!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

La Proxima Pagina

Five years ago I was on my way to work and decided to take a different route to the office, turning on 103rd Street, instead of 104th Street. On 103rd Street and Lexington Ave I picked up a copy of the local paper and read about a business course that was starting the following month. I enrolled in the course, and began the journey that has brought me to this point. That was the first of many classes that I took to learn about business and the book industry. In that class I shared, for the first time, my idea of opening a bookstore in East Harlem.

Five years later - I stand once again on the corner of 103rd Street and Lexington Ave, in front of the retail space that La Casa Azul Bookstore can call home. Finding a location for the bookstore has been a challenge in itself, having been so close to signing a lease several times over the years- this moment is very surreal - but it's also extraordinary!

THANK YOU to the friends and supporters who have cheered me on, encouraging me to keep moving forward when I felt like giving up. THANK YOU to the Founder's Circle members who contributed to the 40K in 40 days campaign, this would not have been possible without your support. THANK YOU all for believing in me. I will see you at the grand opening!   

Holding the keys to La Casa Azul Bookstore!


Stay connected to what La Casa Azul Bookstore is doing as it prepares to open in East Harlem. Photos, videos and blog entries will be posted on the Lucha Libros blog.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Somos Lectores

Book lovers at the Feria Internacional del Libro
For 25 years La Feria Internacional del Libro has  brought together authors and book lovers in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico. This year, I was one of the 25,000+ people who attended the 9 day book festival. The city’s convention center became the gathering place for bibliophiles – with multiple pavilions, including a section dedicated entirely to children! Publishing houses from Mexico and all over the world had books on display and for sale – panels, book talks, recitals and music concerts were happening throughout the day, for 9 days.

My cousin, uncle and I at the Feria Internacional del Libro
My family is from Jalisco, so I took a few extra days to spend time with aunts, uncle and cousins and got to visit the town where I would spend my summer vacations as a child. The town looks the same as it did back then; brightly colored houses, stone paved streets, roosters crowing at 4 in the morning. It’s a small farming town, cows and goats share the streets with tractors and trucks.

I love visiting, I always learn something new about my family’s history and I am reminded of where I come from – and for that, I am grateful.
Visiting my home town

Friday, November 25, 2011

Part 1 of campaign incentives: Got Libros? T-shirts

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving and that you are enjoying this holiday weekend. 

I am taking advantage of my mini vacation from work to catch up on campaign duties. The first task at hand – order the ‘Got Libros?’ shirts for the Founder’s Circle members. If you contributed to the 40K in 40 days campaign at the PUBLISHER, AGENT, EDITOR, or AUTHOR level, you will be getting your “Got Libros?” shirt by December!

I am looking forward to sending out the shirts, a small thank you gift in comparison to your contribution.

Thank you!
Aurora Anaya-Cerda
La Casa Azul Bookstore

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Tune in to The Debrief, this Sunday 11/13 at noon

Today was awesome!
I was interviewed by David Ushery from NBC news about La Casa Azul Bookstore and the next steps in the campaign to open the bookstore.

This morning David and I met in East Harlem, near one of my favorite art pieces – Manny Vega’s mosaic of Julia de Burgos. It was perfect, because of Julia’s importance to El Barrio, and my own admiration of her work.

It was great speaking with David about the store’s next phase - tune in to The Debrief to find out what La Casa Azul Bookstore is doing now...

The Debrief airs Sunday November 13, 2011 on NBC

Can't wait to see it! 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Occupy Manhattan Storefronts

This summer I met the author of Rebel Bookseller, Andrew Laties at Word Up Bookshop. Andrew has opened 5 bookstores in the last 30 years. I am so grateful for his support and for encouraging me to take the leap and open La Casa Azul Bookstore.

Read Andrew Laties' Op Ed: Occupy Manhattan Storefronts
Published on November 2, 2011

Article excerpt: 
How can indies deploy their strengths and seize the day?

Crowd-sourced funding is a proven winner for indie shops. During the very weeks of St. Mark’s highly publicized campaign to survive, a different company, online-only La Casa Azul Bookstore — a Latino literature bookstore – raised more than $33,000 through crowd-sourcing website IndieGoGo to help launch a new Manhattan storefront next year. The crowd-sourced capital will be amplified by matching gifts and loans.
The momentum of La Casa Azul Bookstore suggests that indie storefronts have a way forward unavailable to chains.Indie shops can — and should — capitalize on their unique positions within their communities.

Full article:

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St. Mark’s Bookshop To Remain Open After Reaching Deal With Cooper Union
Published on November 3, 2011

The final chapter has yet to be written about St. Mark’s Bookshop — a fixture in the East Village for over three decades. The independent bookstore had planned to close its doors due to a rent hike by landlord, Cooper Union, but it received a reprieve after Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer intervened.

Full article:

Friday, October 28, 2011

The bookstore's youngest volunteers...

In addition to the financial support, contributors have offered their time and skills. Thank you to all who have offered to pick up paint brushes, hammers and nails!

This note was written by 10 year old Naylan, who along with her twin brother Nolan only asked for ice cream in return for their help.

Note from Naylan and Nolan:

Congratulations on campaigning on your bookstore. Me and Nolan would like to volunteer on your bookstore. We would like to help you clean up the place when you close.
But congrats on your big dream. It's like you made a wish and it came true. Thanks for listening.
P.S. You were on the news.