Podcast: How Bookstores Against Borders became a phenomenon

A Room Of One’s Own staffer Misian Taylor reflects on the outsized impact of the store’s campaign to raise money for immigrant legal aid.

A Room Of One’s Own staffer Misian Taylor reflects on the outsized impact of the store’s campaign to raise money for immigrant legal aid.

About a week before the Fourth of July holiday this year, the downtown Madison bookstore A Room Of One’s Own announced that it would donate a portion of its sales over the independence day weekend to the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, also known as RAICES. The fundraiser was called Bookstores Against Borders, and in just a few days, the fundraiser became so much bigger than one store. The staff at Room began reaching out to other independent booksellers and small publishing houses to help out, the word started spreading, and it ballooned into a campaign that involved dozens of bookstores around the country. By mid-August, Bookstores Against Borders had raised more than a hundred thousand dollars.

We sat down recently with Misian Taylor, the staff member at Room of one’s own who initially came up with the idea. We caught up about where the campaign has gone since July, and Taylor shared their thoughts on the power that small independent bookstores can have. Those interested can still donate online.


Give the conversation a listen here, or subscribe to the Tone Madison podcast on Apple Podcasts. If you like what you’re hearing, please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts and consider supporting us financially with a one-time or recurring donation. And please check out our sister podcasts, Record Store Dropouts and Digital Warmth.

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