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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Help Back Pages start a new chapter

Published: April 18, 2008
Section: Opinions

With its modest size, diverse selection of books, and in-store readings by authors, Back Pages Books is the quintessential independent bookstore for college students. Unfortunately, the store is currently in danger of closing down–that is, if the community does not come out to support it. Alex Green ’04, the store’s proprietor, recently announced that Back Pages needs to immediately raise $50,000 and an additional $25,000 throughout the coming months in order to make it self-sustaining by September.

This situation provides Brandeis students with an opportunity to make a difference in Waltham. Supporting Back Pages Books is a simple way to produce tangible change on a small scale. If the Brandeis community succeeds in helping to save Back Pages Books, we will be reminded of our efforts every time we pass by it on Moody Street.

Activism does not have to be high-minded. Every small effort counts. While we often aim our activist efforts at global problems, such as poverty and war, we must not forget our potential to impact our community by helping out a local business–and not just any business, but that of a Brandeis alumnus.

While Brandeis prides itself on being a tight-knit community, it is time to ensure that this sense of camaraderie stays with our alumni after graduation. Ensuring the success of Back Pages Books can serve as a symbol of what Brandeis students are capable of achieving and the support they will receive from fellow Brandeis community members.

The sense of community derived from preserving Back Pages Books will filter back into the Brandeis community. As Stephanie Sofer ‘09 said, “it became a hub that offered the opportunity to learn more about Brandeis and Waltham.” While purchasing books may be a small aspect of everyday life, preserving the personalized service that Alex Green and his bookstore offer may help students in establishing a community away from home.

Back Pages Books is far from being a lost cause. Despite a forced closure of 40 days, Green reported a a sales growth of 46 percent in the first three months of the year. If the bookstore can move past this bout of debt, it is likely that it will flourish and become a classic institution of the Waltham community.