KEPLER’s 2020: (the new idea is) to embrace the industry’s changes

[youtube_video width=399 height=233]2020[/youtube_video]

[ Fri Jan 27 12 ]

The Booksmith‘s Praveen Madan and Christin Evans announced at The Grotto that they will spearhead an effort to revitalize Palo Alto’s beloved Kepler’s Books by establishing a hybrid model between the retail store and a nonprofit lecture/author event series called Kepler’s 2020.

“Dedicated to a deep roster of author events, lectures, and literary gatherings with a community-owned bookstore that preserves the physical space where people browse, discover and enjoy books,” Praveen and Christin hope to embrace all current trends in the publishing industry while establishing a blueprint for the future of independent bookstores.

Kepler’s 2020 is based in part on the success they’ve had since taking over The Booksmith in 2007. In that time, they have not only moved the store into the black (at a time when not only the independents, but also the larger, corporate bookstores are closing), but they’ve also vamped their in-store programming up from 80 to 200 events per year, in addition to establishing the popular Berkeley Arts & Letters series, which brings 100-1000 people to events in the East Bay, and other innovative programs like The Bookswap and Literary Clown Foolery.

The impetus for The Booksmith’s involvement was the October retirement of Clarke Kepler, who called Praveen and Christin due their enthusiasm, tireless efforts to make The Booksmith an ever-more functional part of the community, and the success they’ve had so far. The couple, who used to live in Palo Alto, would frequent the store on a regular basis; both with a business background, Kepler’s was at least Praveen’s introduction to the wonders of an indie bookstore, and the notion that this place might disappear struck a personal chord.

It’s not for the money, kids.

Above is the entire evening. Click “Play” to watch all, “Next” to skip forward, or the small “Insert” screen (to the right of the video time) to see thumbnails and watch them directly.