Our History
 

From our beginning in 1974, Booksource has remained a family-owned business dedicated to supporting literacy, building personal relationships and providing exceptional customer service.

 
“The books we sold to our customers were the same ones they could buy from someone else. The same is still true today. Our people and the services we offer make us different.”
~Sandy Jaffe, Booksource Founder

Sandy’s son Neil became the majority owner of the company and serves as President and Chairman.

Named as one of St. Louis’ 150 largest privately held companies and top 50 fastest-growing private companies by the St. Louis Business Journal

  • Sandy Jaffe, Founder, 1939-2019
  • Sold Turtleback Books
  • Began doing business solely as Booksource
  • Exceeded $160 Million in sales
  • Sold Jaffe Book Solutions
  • Celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the Bring-Your-Baby-to-Work program
  • Occupied a new 242,000+ square foot warehouse facility in Hazelwood, Mo.
  • Sold Peaceable Kingdom and Southwest Ave. facility
  • After dropping the “The,” the book division began doing business as Booksource
  • Created Jaffe Book Solutions, a short-run, on-demand book manufacturing service
  • Generated $90 Million in sales

Booksource launched Booksource Classroom, a groundbreaking web-based classroom library management system for educators.

GL Group Inc. was formed as the parent company for Booksource, Peaceable Kingdom and Turtleback Books. GL stands for Good Luck and is a nod to The Good Luck Store opened in downtown St. Louis by Sandy’s grandfather Morris in 1906.

Purchased the assets of Topeka Bindery to revive the iconic Turtleback Books brand. It produced library bound editions of popular literature that were in stock and ready to ship.

  • Discontinued selling books to retail bookstores to focus on distribution of books to the education market
  • Leadership of the company transitioned to the next generation of Jaffes, Sandy’s children, Gary, Neil and Donna

Purchased Peaceable Kingdom Press

With a staff of more than 110 people, operations moved to a 67,000-square-foot warehouse facility on Southwest Ave. in The Hill neighborhood. Inventory included more than 30,000 titles from more than 150 publishers.

  • Retail bookstore sales expanded from the Midwest to the entire country, and hardcover books were added to the inventory.
  • Company changed its name to The Booksource, Inc.

Based on a need to diversify our customer base, the company underwent one of its most significant changes to date: We began selling to the K-12 education market.

Purchased San Val, Inc., a bindery services company that turned paperback books into hardcover books. It grew to be a critical part of our organization, strengthening our ability to serve the education market and producing about 2.5 million books a year.

Annual sales hit nearly $3 Million

Sandy quickly grew the company relying on his business acumen, the guidance of industry experts, trusting his gut and leading with a “what’s the worst that can happen” attitude. During the late 1970s, Paperback Supply began serving department stores, airports and chain bookstores in addition to the existing independent bookstore clients.

Operations grew out of the original space in Webster Groves, and Paperback Supply moved into a larger warehouse on Forest Park Blvd.

Guided by an entrepreneurial spirit and a love of reading, Sandy Jaffe took over the operations of a small book wholesaler in Webster Groves, Mo. Paperback Supply had seven employees and was housed in a 6,000-square-foot warehouse. The company carried only paperback books from fewer than 75 publishers. Annual sales were $360,000.