Over $80k raised for Minneapolis bookshops burned down in unrest

Over $80k raised for Minneapolis bookshops burned down in unrest

An online effort to raise money for two Minneapolis bookshops that were burned down during the city's unrest has raised more than $80,000 in less than a week.

Uncle Hugo's and Uncle Edgar's, which specialise in science fiction and mystery books respectively, were destroyed during unrest triggered by the death of George Floyd. The first store is the oldest science fiction bookshop in the US and together they are known as the Uncles.

A fundraiser on behalf of bookseller Don Blyly is aiming to reach $500,000 and had amassed just under $84,000 by Friday morning.

Alexi Vandenberg set up the crowdfunder before handing control over to Blyly's son Sam, Publishers Weekly reported.

He wrote on the site: “We're still not sure what form any eventual rebuild of the business will take or what the timeline might end up being, but you can all rest assured that any donations to this GoFundMe will reach Don Blyly for use in rebuilding.”

The European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF) has condemned the destruction of the stores.

Co-president Jean-Luc Treutenaere said in a statement: “I was deeply shocked to read that Uncle Hugo’s science fiction and Uncle Edgar’s mystery bookstores have been burnt down and destroyed by flames in the ongoing unrest in Minneapolis and many other places across the United States.

"I know that many other bookstores have been impacted by these events and I want to express my concern and support to all booksellers. Bookstores have always been a place for education, culture and entertainment. And booksellers encourage freedom of expression.”