For the second time, BookNet is conducting a State of Bookselling survey "to learn everything we can about the health and needs of independent booksellers across Canada." The 2018 survey resulted in What's in Store: The State of Independent Bookselling in Canada. BookNet is asking indies "to tell us what challenges you're facing as well as what's working in your stores."
The new survey has been refined from its 2018 version with input from the Canadian Independent Booksellers Association and graphics to help Bookmanager clients locate their data, Quill & Quire reported.
"We figured, How can we build on what they've done previously, but make it better? We tried to make it easier to complete," said Doug Minett, CIBA executive director. He suggested setting aside half an hour to complete the survey, which bookstores of all sizes are invited to participate in. "We have multimillion-dollar bookstores, but we have lots of stores that sell less than C$200,000 a year [about US$162,700]. All of them are important, all of them can do better, and the more people that share carefully considered data, the better."
Booksellers who complete the survey will have early access to the full report from BookNet when it is published this fall.
"Both BookNet and CIBA need to be evidence-based organizations," Minett added. "You can't just say you have an opinion because you feel like it. If you actually look at the document that we submitted to [the Department of Canadian] Heritage, it was based on data. This wasn't just some whiny booksellers saying, help us out, help us out. The more we know, the more we can represent booksellers when we are working with government."
Among the shortlists in seven categories for the London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards are three nominees for Bookstore of the Year:
Avid Reader, West End, Queensland, Australia
Cărturești, Bucharest, Romania
Livraria Lello, Porto, Portugal
Trinidad & Tobago's education minister Dr. Nyan Gadsby-Dolly denied an appeal from booksellers to be allowed to operate during the latest Covid-19 lockdown, which went into effect May 3. The Guardian reported that in response to "calls from the booksellers that students will suffer without access to stationery and past papers, Gadsby-Dolly said if the Covid spike is not reduced significantly, students will suffer even more."
Last Tuesday, Kiran Singh, president of the Greater San Fernando Chamber of Industry and Commerce, added his voice to the growing calls for bookstores to remain open: "We agree with the call that all bookstores should remain open.... I believe that bookstores have to remain open for the sake of the children so they can get stationery supplies and textbooks to continue studying during this pandemic."
Nasser Khan, owner of Next Generation Bookstore in Rio Claro, said he has been getting many calls from worried parents since the shutdown was announced. Both he and the owner of Mohammed's Bookstore and Associates said booksellers should be regarded as an essential service.
Italian bookseller Mattia Garavaglia, who has been hand-delivering books on his bicycle from his shop La Libreria del Golem in Turin during the Covid-19 pandemic, found another outlet for his cycling passion recently.
Giro d'Italia, one of professional cycling's biggest events, was in town and on Friday, Garavaglia posted: "Tomorrow, right next to the [bookstore], the first leg of the Giro d'Italia will pass! The strongest #cyclists in the world will speed up the paths that see my two wheels every day while I'll be waiting for you at the library... or who knows, I'll be there to watch."
In a Saturday update, he noted: "The @giroditalia right outside the ! If at some point you see someone racing a yellow #bicycle and the denim shorts chased by the Police it's not me. Let's repeat it together, you don't know who it is. Also because when you're chased it's easier to make the best time!" --Robert Gray