Sunday, September 11, 2005


Saving Kepler's

Today's San Francisco Chronicle covers the continuing efforts to save Kepler's Books, which met a shockingly quick demise a couple weeks ago:

A conscientious objector during World War II, Roy Kepler created a haven of progressive thought long before the free-speech and anti-war movements of the 1960s. The store was a magnet for artists, musicians, scientists and anyone hungry for good books and camaraderie. Kepler had active co-revolutionaries in friends Fred and Pat Cody of Cody's Books in Berkeley and Lawrence Ferlinghetti of City Lights Books in San Francisco -- all of them committed to free speech, community, great literature and quality paperbacks. (All three stores were early champions of affordable "pocket books," considering them democratic innovations.)....

Renegotiating the lease with the landlord of Menlo Center -- the Palo Alto-based Tan Group -- is key to the deal, Kepler agreed. Rent on the 10,000-square-foot space on El Camino Real is said to be more than $30,000 per month. According to Manus-Salzman, "Tan was requiring Kepler stick to a 10-year lease that was negotiated at the height of the market during the dot-com boom, which doesn't reflect fair market value."

A Google employee has started a website that has become the clearinghouse for the effort to revive the store: it's at ...

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