Keep Calm and Keep Reading

!!! IMPORTANT UPDATE !!! (November 19th) 

Thank you, thank you, thank you!! Your support of the GoFundMe on our behalf is extraordinary and extraordinarily heartwarming. In this season of thanksgiving, isolated though we all may be, we embrace you with a warm and joyous and tear-filled hug of gratitude. We independent booksellers like to brag to each other that our customers are the greatest; you are.

But, on a more sobering note, the outpouring of support is taxing our abilities to keep up with the orders we’re receiving. We are getting back some of our staff, but we still have a way to go to get everyone up to speed, and the new orange status in Erie County will inevitably slow us down, since a key employee will have to move to working virtually again. We are doing everything we can to process incoming orders efficiently and promptly, but we are behind. Please bear with us while we work our way back to our more typical prompt turnaround of orders. We will get there. We appreciate your patience and understanding on the way. Thank you.



A group of “Friends of Talking Leaves,” acutely aware that many independent bookstores have closed during the past six months, and determined to have us avoid that fate, has created a GoFundMe campaign to help us get through this crisis and beyond. We are gobsmacked, again; a vital community of the curious, the contemplative, the aspirational--friends, neighbors, strangers, casual readers, avid book-lovers—has once more wrapped us in an embrace to support and sustain us. Here is the Friends’ letter:

Dear fellow friends and supporter of Talking Leaves, We are worried about losing a Buffalo institution, Talking Leaves…Books due to the Covid pandemic, which is affecting each of us in myriad ways as we try to rise to the challenge of coping and thriving. Talking Leaves has been providing books, community, and sustenance to Western New York since 1971. It has weathered many challenges in its history, but as book-lovers and Talking Leaves lovers, we don’t want to witness its collapse due to this pandemic. Please join us in supporting the store.

Businesses are disappearing from our community and from communities all over the country. It would be devastating to lose Talking Leaves after its nearly 50 years of providing us a multitude of voices, and so many opportunities for discovery. There are many ways to support the store, but we thought that this GoFundMe campaign would provide immediate help with the debt and loss of income that is threatening the store’s survival. Along with ordering online or by phone, buying gift certificates, and sharing your love of the store with friends and strangers—any donations that you can make to keep Talking Leaves open and guarantee their presence in our community will be greatly appreciated.

All donations from this campaign will go directly to Talking Leaves. We are asking for all members of this community of readers, book-lovers, and friends, to support the store that has provided us with so much, year in and year out. Please contribute what you can. And SHARE this with everyone you know. If we each donate something, we can raise the monies needed to keep them in business providing us with great books, a great community space, and a knowledgeable staff, far into the future.

Let’s not lose this vital and iconic resource. It would be devastating to the vitality and culture of Buffalo. Thanks for reading this appeal on their behalf. We hope that, like us, you understand exactly what is at risk of being lost and will answer the need with the hope of helping them persevere through this threatening period.

In gratitude, Friends of Talking Leaves

Our hearts are full; this community we love and love to serve continually astonishes us. Of course we want to be around for another generation or two. We know we are not the only business in this community that is foundering and in need of support--please give what you can, when you can, if you can. Our future has always been in the hands of those who shop here; folks who believe in the fundamentals of literacy, literature, solid information, and accumulated collective wisdom, and in the necessity of a strong, vibrant local economy and retail structure, if you can resist the pull of the cheap and the immediate gratification in favor of the well-made, well-seasoned, community minded.

As I said when we closed our Main Street store a few years ago, our survival depends on you, readers, writers, customers and friends, who understand that consumption is a disease, not a definition of citizenship or a way of life; that the act of purchasing a book from us is an act of relationship as well as of commerce; that such relationships have a value that extends well beyond the concept of the cheap and the immediate. 

You are not, and will never be, to us, a simple economic cipher, a chunk of data to be mined, a folio of appetites to feed and enhance. We look you in the eye, not over your shoulder and into your habits. Your identity and your secrets are safe with us. Long may we share and sustain the sacred ground we inhabit together.

With heartfelt gratitude,

Jonathon Welch, founder, on behalf of Martha, Lucy, Alicia, Tim, Doug, and all Leaflets, past and present