Bad Rock Books in Columbia Falls has been a cornerstone of the Flathead Valley reading community since 1997. Owner Cindy Ritter works hard to connect readers to books that entertain, educate, and offer escape into different worlds. “It’s a a wonderful place for community, books, and cat therapy,” writes one fan.
But now Ritter needs the community’s help.
When a water leak was discovered under the building, water service had to be turned off to prevent additional damage. Currently, the building has no water. Initial repair estimates are $14,000 but may run higher depending on what’s found when contractors dig down to the broken pipe.
All funds raised from a Go Fund Me campaign will be used to fix the waterline and return the bookstore to a safe, serviceable condition. As of Oct. 19, the campaign had raised just over $13,000.
The mandatory COVID shutdown had already challenged Ritter, forcing her to close the store for 10 weeks last spring. Bad Rock Books reopened but with only limited hours and days. Still, Ritter has managed to hang on and survive, but fears this water leak could force her to close permanently.
When supporters reached out to offer help, she was deeply moved, saying, “My heart feels like it’s being hugged.”
As one community member said, “We need our bookstore and our bookstore needs us.”
“Local businesses are what make our community, and books are the gateway to the imagination,” wrote a supporter. “I can’t imagine being without either.”
“Reading is more important now than ever before, between the pandemic, the politics, and the pestilence of 2020,” said another campaign donor. “Let’s keep a bookstore in Columbia Falls.”
Can you help Bad Rock Books survive? If you love to read, please donate. If you care about your neighbor, please donate. Find the campaign here.