David Unowsky, owner of Ruminator Books, in St. Paul, Minn., is cautiously optimistic that his many actions to keep the store open may be successful. Ruminator has been looking to raise as much as $1 million since late last year to pay back rent to its landlord, Macalester College, and to repay outstanding loans (News, Nov. 3, 2003 ). In addition to funds raised through an online literary auction and selling shares of the company's stock, Unowsky announced last week that an anonymous donor, a Macalester alumnus, had made a financial contribution of up to $300,000 to the store—enough to cover the gap not raised through the stock offering, the sale of the Ruminator Review and pending grants.

According to an announcement posted on the store's Web site on January 31, the store had only good news to report. A $100,000 STAR (Sales Tax Revitalization) grant made to St. Paul is pending; Minnesota has extended through February the deadline for the closing for the stock offering; and Macalester has extended until the end of February the deadline for the store to raise $500,000. The college also has renewed for next year its contract with the Ruminator to sell textbooks to Macalester students, an agreement which had been suspended during the 2003—2004 school year. And Unowsky thinks that he may have found a buyer for the Ruminator Review, which was last published in December. A new issue will not be published until a buyer is found.

With events going his way, Unowsky told PW, 'We presume we'll stay open, due to a combination of the pending grant, the pending sale of the Ruminator Review, the extension of the stock sale and Macalester's extension of its deadline. Things are coming together... but we still do need Minnesota residents to buy stock, and for people out-of-state to call the store and talk to me if they are interested in helping us out.'

He added, 'I hope enough loose ends will be tied up by the second or third week in February that we can officially announce that we are going forward. Everything's not signed, sealed and delivered yet, so I'm going to wait before I break out the champagne and celebrate.'