|The Bookloft's current location is closed.
The Bookloft, Great Barrington, Mass., was in the process of relocating to a new building this spring, but the Covid-19 pandemic has delayed those plans. Owner Pam Pescosolido told her customers: "As I'm sure you can imagine, it's very strange to go into a bookstore that hasn't had people in it for weeks now. The books are missing their opportunities for customers to read and appreciate or even love them....
"It seems at this point that we will be unable to ever again open at our location at Price Chopper plaza. BUT at the new place, renovations are still on track, and when we are allowed to reopen, we will be there with bells on, staff will be happy to greet you, and the books can't wait to be looked at and taken home. We look forward to showing you around the new Bookloft at 63 State Road sometime in May."
Annie Bloom's Books, Portland, Ore., "is a busy place these days, the Portland Tribune reported, adding: "No one who works there has been laid off because there's plenty of work to be done." As of April 5, the bookstore is no longer offer curbside pickup for orders placed by phone or online, but is offering two options for book ordering going forward: shipping and complimentary delivery (within approximately a three-mile radius).
"In the past few weeks, we've had to constantly revise our way of conducting business, from managing customer browsing then closing the store, to repositioning work stations in order to maintain safe social distancing. Who knows what tomorrow might bring?" said Michael Keefe, publicist and events coordinator. "Our customers are amazing. We've been blown away by their support, both in terms of the number of books they're ordering from us and the wonderful messages of gratitude and encouragement."
Noting that in mid-March, several staff members elected to shelter in place, including store owner Bobby Tichenor, Keefe said, "Fortunately, we've been able to give more hours to staff members who'd previously been working part-time or fill-in while they attended school or worked other jobs. Typically, we have upwards of 20 people on staff. Right now, we have maybe half that many who are working at the store, a couple of staff members (myself included) who are working from home, and others who are on leave."
Left Bank Books, St. Louis, Mo., posted on Facebook late last week: "Hurray! We received word yesterday afternoon from our City Manager and members of the City Council that we can continue to be your virtual bookstore until this medical crisis is over.
"As you may or may not know, our governor has wisely placed much of our state on a 'stay-at-home order' effective until at least April 30. When we explained to our city officials that we are not allowing the public in our shop at any time, they gave us the green light to continue our virtual business."
Jeff Martin, founder of Magic City Books, Tulsa, Okla., informed his customers: "The Oklahoma Dept. of Commerce has now deemed bookstores as 'essential' businesses. Quite simply, this is a mistake. We will remain closed. Online and shipping only. As long as it takes. Stay in. Stay safe. Read more."
Hacked! Eureka Books, Eureka, Calif., posted an update regarding the store's recent challenges: "Hello friends! We wanted to give you a status report on what is happening with us. On March 16th--in the same week we had to close the store due to the outbreak of Covid-19--Eureka Books suffered a major online hack. All our accounts and our carefully built network had to be shut down to avoid further damage. Now, 20 days later, we are starting to emerge from the rubble. We are rebuilding, catching up, and excited to sell books again (even if we must do it from a distance). Thank you to everyone who has helped us get through this.... Thank you also to our amazing customers who have stood by us....
"We've been down but not out, and we are still shipping books! We would be happy to ship orders to you.... We hope you are staying safe and sane during these challenging times. If we can help you get through it with the magic of a book, please drop us a line."
John Waite, owner of Auntie's Bookstore and Merlyn's Comics in Spokane, told the Inlander that since Washington Governor Jay Inslee's stay-at-home order was issued last week, sales have been mostly nonexistent. While he is deeply concerned about the lasting impacts the pandemic will have on the local business landscape, he remains optimistic.
Asked how much sales are down compared to this time last year, he replied: "It's not really a matter of being behind. There are no sales. What we're doing for mail order is a nice token effort; we want to make customers happy and give them something to read, but the volume is just, it's going to be minimal.... I hope that people can ride this out and remember us, the local stores, when everything gets back to normal, whenever that is. To help now, buy a book online and have it mailed to your house. Merlyn's and Auntie's will be here when it's done and we'll be in a world that can help us. I think that it will be like that again. I'm not a pessimist."