Bookselling in the Time of COVID-19

This was originally posted on my Patreon page.

Times are weird. Currently, the bookstore where I work (Brookline Booksmith, which has an online shop you can browse here – offering free delivery!) is closed to the public until at least early April, and we’re scrambling to promote and fulfill remote orders to make up for the total loss of foot traffic. We’re doing better than I expect us to, but who knows how long that will last? Like I said, times are weird, and I don’t think we’ve scratched the surface of how weird they’re going to get.

In this difficult time, as we huddle in self-isolation and wonder what we can do for ourselves or others, please consider finding a local business or cause to support. We are fortunate to live in a digital age where we can keep a physical distance from one another without actually losing touch. See if the restaurant down the street has gift cards (or if they’re offering take-out.) Call your favorite bookstore or other niche retailer and ask what you can do. Most of all, contact your representatives and ask them to support relief efforts for individuals and small businesses alike. They’ve just announced a plan to spend $1 trillion dollars per day propping up the stock market. Don’t our neighbors, our libraries, our hospitals, and more deserve a slice of that? Those are our tax dollars, after all.

When you need a break from fighting to keep our country afloat in the coming months, send me a message through Patreon or on Twitter for a book recommendation, and I’ll answer you as soon as I can. I’m finding good books to be a balm right now and I hope you’ll feel the same. Remember: stay inside and shop local.