Opinion: Bookstore needs help

| October 7, 2020 12:10 AM

By DEBBIE BURKE

Maybe you first visited Bad Rock Books on Nucleus Avenue in Columbia Falls when you were a kid. The white and red building has served the valley’s reading needs since 1997. You could have come into Bad Rock Books as a parent, and watched your little one hunkered between shelves, pawing through boxes of children’s books, on a hunt for a great story. You might have been searching for entertainment and education—an escape into the pages of a good mystery; a journey back through centuries to a foreign land; a cookbook you remember from your grandmother’s kitchen.

Perhaps you were on a quest for a surprise gift for a special occasion.

Or maybe you just like to chat and pet the bookstore kitties. In all these situations, bookstore owner Cindy Ritter helped you find

what you needed.

Now this good friend of the community needs the community’s help.

Recently, a serious underground water leak was discovered under the Bad Rock Books building. To prevent further damage, water had to be turned off. The building currently has NO water service. The initial estimate for repairs is $14,000 but may go higher depending what contractors find when they dig down to the damaged pipe.

This year has already been difficult for Cindy, who had to close for 10 weeks during the COVID lockdown. She pivoted, adapted, and was able to survive with mail orders and drive-up service. The store reopened but only with limited days and hours to allow regular cleaning to protect customers.

Despite this latest expensive setback, Cindy is determined to keep going and remain an active member of the vibrant reading community.

Cindy has always been an ardent supporter of local authors. The Authors of the Flathead and Montana Women Writers have stepped up to help, spreading the word among members to raise money for the repairs.

A GoFundMe site has been set up to receive donations to fix the leak and return the Bad Rock Books building to a safe, serviceable condition. https://www.gofundme.com/f/x6gry-bad-rock-books