Don Blyly told readers today in the June 19th edition of his How’s Business newsletter that the new home for Uncle Hugo’s and Uncle Edgar’s bookstores at 2716 E. 31st St. could open for business in July. Two years have passed since the bookstores’ old location was burned by vandals in 2020.
Blyly says the work on bookshelves and lighting has kept the store from opening as soon as he wanted.
I had hoped to be able to open by the end of June; then I moved the expected date to early July; now I’m hoping for mid-July. A lot of progress has been made, but not as fast as I had hoped.
A lot of bookshelves for used books have been built, but are not yet ready to have books moved onto them. We are waiting for the lights to be converted to LEDs and some light fixtures to be moved around and some new light fixtures to be installed. The electricians have not yet told me when they will do the work, but the LED bulbs and new fixtures were delivered to the store last Thursday, so I hope the work will be done in the next week.
Gary Stone of Red Wing donated a lot of book shelves from a bookstore that went out of business a few years ago in western Wisconsin, which was a tremendous help. It took over 2 weeks to get them re-assembled, but they will hold most of the new books for Uncle Hugo’s and Uncle Edgar’s. Gary runs Stoney End Hobgoblin Music, where he hand crafts harps, dulcimers, banjos, and bodrans, and sells a wide variety of new and used instruments for folk, acoustic, celtic, and world music, plus folk music recordings and lyrics. If that sounds of interest to you, you might see if you can send some business to Gary to thank him for helping the Uncles.
Details like running computer cables and painting a new sign on the building remain to be done.
The new computer system was delivered 9 days ago, but I need a bunch of ethernet cables run before we can use the system. The signage on the outside of the building still says “Glass Endeavors”, and I don’t know when the sign painter will be able to schedule our job.
Blyly continues to sort his inventory.
I have moved all the donated books from the storage locker to the new store and sorted them into five categories: UH mass markets, UE mass markets, UH trade books, UE trade books, and “stuff”. A lot of people donated boxes of books from their own storage lockers or basements without looking through the boxes, so there are a fair number of books that are outside our specialties. Some of the “stuff” looks interesting, but a lot of “stuff” will probably go to recycling. The Uncle Hugo’s used mass markets have been sorted alphabetically and are ready to move onto the used book shelves as soon at the shelves are attached to the walls, and I’ll start alphabetizing the Uncle Edgar’s used mass markets next week.
He will also be accepting donations of books on June 26.
A lot of people have let me know that they have books they want to donate to the Uncles but held off when my storage locker and house both filled up with donated books. Next Sunday, June 26, Ecko and I will be at the new store (2716 E. 31st St.) from 1 to 4 pm to accept donations of books and to allow people to look over the new building. We will not be selling anything, we will not be buying anything, and I don’t expect any of the new books to have arrived by then.