In response to the flooding from recent heavy rains that have impacted booksellers, particularly in St. Louis and eastern Kentucky, Binc issued a plea this past weekend, urging donors to step up and donate. An added incentive for contributors, Binc noted: authors Kate DiCamillo, Ann Patchett, Will Schwalbe, and Garth Stein promise to match gifts up to $15,000.

“Double your donations and help employees and owners of bookstores and comic shops,” urges a Binc release, “Our program manager is currently working with booksellers who have lost everything in the current floods.”

Left Bank Books is one of the bookstores most impacted by flooding from torrential rains: on its website the St. Louis indie reported that it had flooded twice in late July. The first time, store employees were able to clean it up, but two days later, storm sewer water burst through the four drains on Left Bank’s lower level and flooded offices and a retail area. The store shut down to all customer traffic for a few days, but re-opened on August 1.

“We have taken a loss, though I can't say yet how bad,” owner Kris Kleindienst wrote in an open letter to customers. “We've lost books, fixtures, carpet, supplies, and critical revenue. It will take a while to know how much.”

Even though the store’s insurance will cover only half of its estimated losses, Kleindienst struck a positive note: “The good news is, we will recover. The good news is, we are now open for business on the first floor and you can always order online 24/7.”

As for the Book House in Maplewood, a St. Louis suburb, it reported that while it had survived the storm unscathed, store manager Dave Simmons lost his home and car and is living in a hotel room with his wife and their two cats. Simmons's sister-in-law has set up a Gofundme campaign for them.