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A converted short bus that's part book shop, part art house, and all literary. We are building a mobile station of inspiration.
A converted short bus that's part book shop, part art house, and all literary. We are building a mobile station of inspiration.
67 backers pledged $3,430 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$3,430

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We’re building a mobile station of inspiration.

Bluebird Books is a mobile project space housed in a converted short bus – part bookshop, part art house, all literary.

Retail sales of gently-used books, locally-designed artist books, and handmade notebooks will support our pending non-profit arm, created to organize cultural events such as play readings, book-art exhibits, poetry readings and bookmaking workshops for the community at large. 

Our small space forces careful selection of every tome placed on the shelves, yielding a curated experience for the visiting book-lover. At a time when public libraries and bookstores struggle, we continue to celebrate the art of the book in all its forms. 

We like to tell stories. We promote literacy and craft. Bluebird Books is a passion for words, ideas and illustrations, put on four big bus wheels and headed your way. Learn more at www.thebluebirdbus.com.

Your gifts at work:

Kickstarter donations will support the purchase of additional fixtures used to store and display books, while also helping us continue to increase our book inventory, and defray the cost of supplies and marketing materials for neighborhood cultural programs. 

Any remaining funds will go toward standard maintenance for the bus, and into a fund dedicated to functional upgrades such as the addition of solar panels or construction of a portable stage for outdoor performances. (A little extra gas money won't hurt, either.)

What people are saying:

Read about Bluebird Books in the St. Petersburg Times: 

Bluebird Book Bus Brings Reading On Wheels by Stephanie Hayes

And in Creative Loafing: 

Hop Aboard the Bluebird Book Bus by Megan Voeller

Plus, you can connect with us on Blogger, Twitter and Facebook.

Our partners and supporters:

Learn more about just a few of the talented Bay area artists who support Bluebird Books with their time, effort and creations:

Promotional photograph by Shanna Gillette of Sasha Rae Photography

Video production services donated by Edit Suites, Inc.

Bus seat covers made by Mom.

The history of Bluebird:

This project began with a dream to open a used book store – a community space that would showcase artist-made books, local poetry and unusual literature. When the cost outlay and overhead required for a brick-and-mortar shop proved prohibitive, we took inspiration from the fast-growing fleet of food trucks springing up across the country, and decided – why not go mobile?

In April 2011, we purchased a 1998 GMC/Wolfington Mid-Bus, and that’s where the journey really began. Summer 2011 was spent sweltering in a vacant automotive barn, where we undertook the laborious process of prepping and painting the vehicle. Through the dedicated work of artist Joe Griffith, the bus was gradually transformed from traditional school-bus yellow to a beautiful, bright Pantone 300 blue.

We’ve had plenty more help along the way, as family and friends new and old have pitched in to remove bus seats, clean and catalog books, install shelves and stitch new cushions. And now, at last, we’re ready to roll out to the public.

Beginning Nov. 19, 2011, our inaugural tour promotes this Kickstarter campaign with appearances throughout the Tampa Bay area. Your support – whether by donation or word of mouth – can help this project blossom into its full potential as a literary resource for the community. Thank you.

About the founder:

Mitzi Gordon is a writer, artist and museum professional based in Tampa, Florida. Bluebird Books is the latest incarnation of her lifelong love affair with books and writing. She holds a journalism degree from New York University and doesn't sleep very much. Learn more about her story and motivations in this exposition, and email comments to readmore@bluebird-books.com. 

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    We appreciate every donation! For $5 or more, your name will be listed on a dedicated page of the Bluebird Books website, and we'll be shouting out 'thank you' in the social media realm too! (This 'Bird tweets, of course.)

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Thank you! For $10 or more, you'll receive a handmade Bluebird Books postcard in the mail, bearing a haiku written just for you by project founder Mitzi Gordon.

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    13 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Way to keep the bus wheels turning! For $25 or more, we'll send you a handcrafted Papergeist notebook, made in Tampa by artist Susan Janvrin using vintage record sleeves and discarded paper. Janvrin supports Bluebird Books by retailing these unique books on the bus!

    Plus, nesting inside your custom package you'll find an origami paper bird, folded from a colorful vintage book page.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Your gift is so helpful. For $50 or more, you will receive one signed copy of Bay-area artist Joshua T. Pearson's book Alphabhetto, an original graphic alphabet book that we feature on the Bluebird Books bus.

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    4 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Thank you for your support! For your donation of $75 or more, you will receive one small limited-edition cyanotype print made by Tampa-based artist Kym O'Donnell. Using a special photographic printing process, O'Donnell is creating these brilliant blue, fine art prints to commemorate the Bluebird Books launch.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Our gratitude is inexpressible. Your donation of $100 or more will be rewarded with a hand-cast nazar amulet designed by Tampa-based artist Joe Griffith. Historically, these amulets are believed to protect against bad mojo -- or in this case, silverfish. Notorious book destroyers, silverfish consume the starches in glue, book bindings and paper. Defend your library and preserve your good luck with this unusual limited-edition multiple, made to commemorate the Bluebird Books launch.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    What incredible generosity! A gift of $250 or more affords you public recognition not just on our website, but on the bus itself. We will place your name in tasteful vinyl lettering on an interior side wall of the bus, for every visitor to see how much you value the art and power of books. Thank you.

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Funding period

- (42 days)