Community Book Initiative

Alpenglow Sports operates through a rich and connected community-centric business model. For 42 years, we have put on events that bring our community together and facilitate fun, education and inspiration. One has to look no further than our Winter Speaker Series or Mountain Festival, both of which are large-scale events that seek to give back to the community that has supported the shop since our inception in 1979.

In many ways, the global pandemic has jettisoned any opportunity for this community-centric model, as we have been unable to gather in our traditional ways over the last 12 months. To make matters worse, there is still no concrete path back to these gatherings. However, it is said that new ideas come from obvious and glaring needs, and in the fall of 2020, we discovered one of our own.

Since we have only allowed five customers into the shop during Covid, there is oftentimes a line outside. Most days, this line gathers directly in front of our main display window. When we put a selection of books in this window, we saw customer engagement increase, conversations begin and book sales surge. Whether it was an adventure narrative, illustrated kid's title, a natural history title, or an environmental-related topic, there was a marked increase in dialogue.

At this same time, our own staff was struggling with the many polarizing and divisive issues gripping the country. We were all trying to cope, understand, learn from and become better community members and humans. It was at this moment that our book buyer and lead boot fitter Jason Layh came up with the idea for the new Community Book Initiative.

The format is simple. Each spring, Alpenglow will reach out to 10 community members who are respected and admired for their mountain pursuits, community involvement and inclination to make Tahoe a great place to live. Each community member is asked for two to three thought provoking and enlightening titles, for a total of 20 books. These titles are designed to spark dialogue and illicit personal reflection and engagement, with topics including environmental, social, or adventure-related issues. After all, we’re all beautiful works in progress.

We have chosen the non-profit Little Free Library as the beneficiary of our Community Book Initiative. From April 26th through end of May, Little Free Library will receive 100% of book sale proceeds from our 20 community recommended titles. Books can be bought online HERE and shipped to your address or in the shop to see these titles for yourself.

Little Free Library builds community, inspires readers and expands book access for all through a global network of volunteer-led little libraries. Through Little Free Library book exchanges, millions of books are exchanged each year, profoundly increasing access to books for readers of all ages and backgrounds. Little Free Library facilitates the sharing of 42 million books annually, in 100+ countries through 100,000+ Little Free Libraries. There will be another installation in front of Alpenglow Sports in the very near future. Please click HERE for more information about this amazing group.