Burqueñas Leslie Gulley and Liberty Goldstein are the business partners that own Title Wave Book, Revised at 2318 Wisconsin St, NE. Both happen to be moms, and both happen to be moms who homeschool their kids.
I met Leslie and Liberty on a recent Friday when I came down to their store to see Ryan P. Freeman do an episode of ‘Friday Night Reads’ at their store.
Being a person who cannot walk into a bookstore without walking out with an armload of books, we got to talking, and Leslie invited me back to learn more about the store and their mission.
“This bookstore is the only place in Albuquerque to get homeschooling books and materials,” Liberty told me, “and now we’ve been the owners for five years.”
I arrived a day after Albuquerque’s surprise snow storm, and walked in to find Leslie and Liberty organizing some books, naturally. They were joined by a cardboard cutout of Keanu Reeves, whom one of the two business partners considers an essential employee, and the other… does not.
There was a brief debate over whether or not to have Mini-Keanu in the photo. He made it.
As I mentioned in the open, Leslie and Liberty teach their kids at home. “This bookstore is the only place in Albuquerque to get homeschooling books and materials,” Liberty told me, “and now we’ve been the owners for five years.”
Title Wave is more than materials for homeschooling, but it’s what drew the two to buy the store and it turns out to have been a smart business move.
“There have always been parents interested in homeschooling,” said Leslie, “but thanks to Covid, now there are parents homeschooling by necessity and for the parents new to it, we’re proud that we’ve been able to be a resource for them.”
“Also,” added Liberty, “after the school year, parents can bring back in their materials they are done with and earn a credit towards purchasing materials for the next year of school. Parents have told us how much they appreciate us being here, as homeschooling materials can get really expensive.”
While a great resource for homeschooling, Title Wave shows their commitment to Albuquerque in different ways, including participating in Animal Humane New Mexico’s C.A.T.S. (Cats Around Town) program. Local businesses like Title Wave will have a cat in their store who is eligible for adoption, and in one year, Title Wave has assisted in placing over sixty cats into their forever homes. “We did ten in September alone,” Leslie added with a smile.
This last summer, Title Wave participated in “Bookstock,” which consisted of musicians and independent bookstores around the country participating virtually. They’ve also been participating in other events like, “Small Business Saturday,” “Independent Bookstore Day,’ and others.
The good news is business has been steady. “When we took over the store, we added, ‘Revised’ to our name, so people knew there were new owners, but we’re still servicing their needs, as this store has for over twenty five years,” said Leslie.
Unsurprisingly, the ladies went on to let me know they prefer working with organizations like Bookshop.org, who give back 10 percent of their profits to local bookstores working with them. During the pandemic they have increased that amount to 30 percent.
Right in front are books by local authors. “We love supporting our local writers,” said Liberty.
Looking around their store, and the prominent way local authors are featured, it shows. I know I’ll be back to spend some money in Title Wave Books, Revised.