Shelf Awareness for Friday, September 10, 2021

Viking: The Bookshop: A History of the American Bookstore by Evan Friss

Pixel+ink: Missy and Mason 1: Missy Wants a Mammoth

Bramble: The Stars Are Dying: Special Edition (Nytefall Trilogy #1) by Chloe C Peñaranda

Blue Box Press: A Soul of Ash and Blood: A Blood and Ash Novel by Jennifer L Armentrout

Charlesbridge Publishing: The Perilous Performance at Milkweed Meadow by Elaine Dimopoulos, Illustrated by Doug Salati

Minotaur Books: The Dark Wives: A Vera Stanhope Novel (Vera Stanhope #11) by Ann Cleeves


The Provincetown Bookshop Gets New Owner

The Provincetown Bookshop in Provincetown, Mass., which was put up for sale earlier this summer, has a new owner. The Provincetown Independent reported that Barbara Clarke has agreed to purchase the 89-year-old business from Philip Swayze, "whose uncles, Joel Newman and Elloyd Hanson, bought it in 1963 and operated the shop for decades."

Clarke, who lives in Provincetown and Boston, said she wants the bookstore to remain a "connecting point" for the community. She is founder and president of the Impact Seat, a venture capital and philanthropic fund focused on technology startups led by women, especially women of color and from LGBTQ communities. She is also a lead investor in Portfolia, another venture capital company that funds women entrepreneurs.

"My business is injecting capital into companies so they can grow," she said. "Bookstores can be profitable in 2021. It's been 89 years--I think it's been tested.... Provincetown has a deep tradition for the arts and the writers who have lived or come through here."

Swayze, who has run the store since 2014, said he had received one other serious offer, from a couple in California: "He was from Provincetown, and she is running a bookstore in San Francisco." Ultimately that deal fell through.

When Provincetown Bookshop reopens, it will be in a new location because the building has been sold. The Independent noted that Clarke, who worked in a bookstore when she was an undergraduate at Tufts, said she wants to relaunch the shop in the West End next summer. 

"It's going to be a challenge to find a spot," she said, adding that she wants to buy rather than rent and hopes that anyone looking to sell in the West End will reach out to her. "Bookstores are great neighbors."

BINC: Do Good All Year - Click to Donate!

Bookstores for Sale: Toadstool Bookshops, N.H.; Reader's World, Sedalia, Mo.

Toadstool Bookshop in Peterborough

The Williams family, owners of the Toadstool Bookshops in Peterborough, Keene and Nashua, N.H., are putting the stores up for sale--nearly 50 years after Willard Williams, his sister Jenny and other family members opened the first Toadstool Bookshop in Peterborough.

The Williamses noted that "the intent is to find a new owner or owners who will continue the traditions of the bookstores, maintaining the local connections, while continuing to earn the support of the readers in southwestern New Hampshire." They added that "the growth and success of the stores is the result of the very strong support from the local community."

Interested people should contact Willard Williams in Peterborough at 603-924-3543 or via e-mail.


Reader's World, the Sedalia, Mo., bookstore, is for sale. The owners, the Cowley family, have decided to retire, and if the store can't be sold, it will be shut down. The Cowleys were the owners of magazine distributor Cowley Distributing in Jefferson City, which they sold to American News Co. in 2019.

For more information about Reader's World, contact the store at 660-827-0940 or via e-mail.

GLOW: Milkweed Editions: Becoming Little Shell: Returning Home to the Landless Indians of Montana by Chris La Tray

S.C.'s Turning Page Bookshop Opening Second Store, Moving First One

VaLinda Miller

Turning Page Bookshop will be hosting a grand opening celebration tomorrow for its second store, located at 203 E. 3rd North St. in Summerville, S.C. Meanwhile, the Charleston City Paper reported, Turning Page, the only African American-owned bricks-and-mortar bookstore in the state, has temporarily closed its store on St. James Avenue in Goose Creek; owner VaLinda Miller decided to move her original shop "up the road to a more affordable location away from construction projects surrounding its previous home."

"When you're on a budget to cut down on expenses to weather the Covid storm, it's cheaper and better to move to another area in Goose Creek," she said, adding that she hopes to have the new Goose Creek storefront (address to be announced) open before the holiday season. 

G.P. Putnam's Sons: Four Weekends and a Funeral by Ellie Palmer

Books & Mortar Bookstore in Grand Rapids, Mich., Relocating

Jenny Kinne, who purchased Books & Mortar Bookstore, Grand Rapids, Mich., in 2018 from co-founders Jonathan Shotwell and Christopher Roe, plans to relocate the bookshop to a larger space across the street from its current location on Cherry St. by November. 

In an Instagram post this week, Kinne wrote that she had "some BIG news to share. Your little neighborhood bookstore is growing up! Books & Mortar began about 4 years ago as a dream of its remarkable founders (lookin' at you Christopher and Jonathan) to build a progressive community space filled with great reads, art, discussion, and activism.

"When I took over two and a half years ago, Books & Mortar already felt like home. Even though I knew so little about being a small business owner, I had confidence that if I built on the store's original mission and made a space that felt like home for everyone, good things would happen. What I couldn't have predicted was the speed and strength with which good things happened. Your love for us, books, our neighborhood, and our world has allowed us to thrive and to BUY A NEW BUILDING. We will be moving across the street to 966 Cherry, where we are in the process of creating a space that will double our capacity for bookselling and community building!"

Kinne added that in November, "this proudly progressive, consciously curated, and fiercely independent bookshop will have a new home. All of us booksellers will bring you through the transformation of our new space because this place belongs to you, too. We can't wait to show it to you. We cannot thank you enough for making this possible. Stay tuned as we get to work!"

NAIBA Handseller and Rep of the Year Award Winners

Anna Weber

Anna Weber, events director at White Whale Bookstore, Pittsburgh, Pa., has won the 2021 New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association Joe Drabyak Spirit Handseller of the Year Award.

Weber said, "I came to this job as many booksellers do: I love books, I've always loved books, and reading has been central to my life since I was very small."

A bookseller at White Whale Bookstore for almost three years, Weber said her interactions with those who seem nervous about being in a bookstore are her favorite. "They have this idea that it's going to be a pretentious, judgmental place. That's part of why people use algorithms instead, right? An algorithm isn't judging you and what you like. I love to show these neighbors of ours that bookstores do the opposite of belittle; they make you feel seen, bring you into a conversation, connect you to a local (and global) community of readers, broaden your horizon and challenge preconceived notions of people, places, and genre...

"Everyone, even self-proclaimed non-readers, remembers how they felt when they read their first book, or the first book that blew their minds. That feeling of eagerness and delight at the realization of what a book can be or do. The way you gush over the books that mean something to you. I try to bring that to every handselling interaction, no matter how brief."

Jill Yeomans, co-owner of White Whale Bookstore, called Weber "the shelf-talker queen. She has so many on the floor that we started running contests with other staff to inspire friendly competition. But even with so many glowing recommendations, Anna makes sure each one is dynamite and geared toward uplifting books and authors that might otherwise be overlooked, and she succeeds at making those our bestsellers. Likewise, her in-store displays and new books stories on our social media accounts always strive to bring attention to indie presses, BIPOC authors, or works in translation, and the sales are often paired with a charitable donation. One of our customers calls Anna 'the Alexa of bookselling'--anything you're looking for, you can ask Anna, and she'll find you the perfect read. Our regulars tell us 'You'd better hold onto that one,' and we couldn't agree more."

Weber received her MFA in creative nonfiction writing at the University of Pittsburgh in 2019, where she developed her current nonfiction manuscript about a small town in western Poland during World War II. For several years she was the translation editor at the Offing. She'll read anything once and many things twice, and she lives to offer recommendations, especially in poetry, fiction, and works in translation in all genres.


Nissa Bagelman

Nissa Bagelman of Como Sales has won the 2021 Kristin Keith Sales Rep of the Year award, sponsored by the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association, in recognition of her "dedication, enthusiasm, and support for the independent booksellers."

Kristin Pidgeon, buyer at Riverstone Bookstore, Pittsburgh, Pa., praised Bagelman, saying, "In the NAIBA region we have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to sales reps. Each rep knows their list and crafts the mark ups to fit our customer base. However, Nissa goes above and beyond! She knows Riverstone as well as I do and makes sure I don't miss a book, a preorder opportunity, or a promotion. She remembers my staff picks better than I do. She works hard to make sure we have the best PR pitch for event grids, and she checks in after an event to make sure it went well. Nissa's sales calls remind me of the time I spent working with Kristin Keith. She brings the same informed passion for books that Kristin shared, and I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this award."

Bagelman said, "I'm honored and truly humbled. It isn't lost on me that I'm early in my bookselling career, and my worst-kept secret (that I don't actually live in the Mid-Atlantic... gasp!) poses challenges--so winning over this spectacular group is a tremendous honor." She happily added that her territory is expanding to include Maryland and the District of Columbia.

Books are in Bagelman's blood. Her grandparents owned an independent bookstore for 60 years in Center City Philadelphia called Reedmor Books. She fondly remembers her grandfather finding rare books, pulps, and magazines for collectors. She inherited the wooden Reedmor sign that adorned the building; it's proudly on display in her house. "Maybe someday it will grace another bookstore," she said.

She began her book career with a college internship with the Boston Book Festival, followed by a stint as a bookseller at Borders. She then became a special sales assistant at the Perseus Books Group and later became sales manager of mail order, specialty wholesale and online retail at Workman. "My two and a half years at Workman reminded me how FUN and fulfilling bookselling could be," she said. "I found my publishing home and never wanted to leave. But I did want to return to Boston, so after a tearful goodbye to my Workman family, I dove into the choppy waters of unemployment... for seven weeks. Luckily for me, Como Sales was looking for a new mid-Atlantic rep (thank you, Joe Ginis!). Somehow, this 20-something baby who lived in New England sweet-talked her way into the most rewarding of gigs. And the rest, as they say, is history!"

Obituary Note: Candice Chaplin

Candice Chaplin

Candice Chaplin, a longtime Penguin Random House sales, marketing and publicity executive, most recently v-p, director, backlist sales, died on September 8. She was 53.

Her family said that "she passed in tremendous peace surrounded by family and close friends. Candice's greatest legacy is her son, Noah, a brave, confident, hilarious, powerful force who will live life to its fullest in spite of unique challenges. Her family, father Stanley Chaplin, M.D., mother Michelle Chaplin Partlow, and sister Nicole Chaplin and close friends brought immeasurable joy to Candice in her final battle with cancer.

"Her lengthy career at the world's most compassionate and thriving publishing company, Penguin Random House, provided her with utmost pleasure and pride. She was also proud and honored to be an outspoken advocate and ally to the transgender community."

The company said, "We are heartbroken over the loss of Candice Chaplin.... Her storied career with Penguin Random House was not only marked by her leadership and fierce sense of what was required for success but her unwavering friendship and incredible sense of humor. In many ways, she was the heart and soul of the sales department. Our thoughts are with Candice's loving family, and our colleagues, who will miss her deeply."

Chaplin's family asked that donations in her memory be made either to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society or Camp Aranu'tiq of Harbor Camps for Transgender Youth, which builds confidence, resilience, and community for transgender and non-binary youth and their families through camp experiences.


Happy 40th Birthday (Plus One), Anderson's in Downers Grove!

Congratulations to Anderson's Bookshop, which has stores in Naperville and Downers Grove, Ill., and this weekend is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Downers Grove store--although it's one year late, the Daily Herald reported.

"Everything was so complicated last year," Charlie Wilkins, a sixth-generation Anderson's Bookshop family member and manager of the Downers Grove store, told the newspaper. "We were so focused on limiting customers entering the store that 2021 felt like a better decision."

The festivities include discounts and daily raffle prizes as well as commemorative wooden bookmarks depicting the store's exterior and some free book-related merchandise.

Sales Floor Display: 'Read Before You Watch' at Nowhere Bookshop

Nowhere Bookshop, San Antonio, Tex., shared a photo of the store's clever display idea for book-to-screen adaptations, noting: "Read before you watch, so you can tell all your friends how much better the book was." 

Chronicle Books to Stop Distributing Do Books Titles

Effective December 31, Chronicle Books will no longer distribute Do Books titles in the U.S. and Canada. Returns will be accepted for six months, through June 30, 2022. Do Books is not moving to a new US distributor at this time and will continue to fill customer web orders directly. For any inquiries, please contact Miranda West, publisher of Do Books:

Personnel Changes at TvS Media Group

Melissa Bloomfield has joined TvS Media Group as publicity manager. Bloomfield has held book publicity positions at Peachtree, Scholastic, and McGraw-Hill, and she continues in her current role as event coordinator for Brave + Kind Bookshop, the children's bookstore in Decatur, Ga.

Media and Movies

Media Heat: George F. Will on Real Time with Bill Maher

HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher: George F. Will, author of American Happiness and Discontents: The Unruly Torrent, 2008-2020 (Hachette Books, $32, 9780306924415).

Movies: The Most Reluctant Convert; Via Negativa

A trailer has been released for The Most Reluctant Convert: The Untold Story of C.S. Lewis, a new film tracking the life of the Chronicles Of Narnia author. Deadline reported that on November 3, venues in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, Phoenix, Dallas, Atlanta, Chicago, Seattle, Miami Beach, San Francisco and more will screen the film for a one night engagement. 

Directed by Norman Stone, the film stars Max McLean, Nicholas Ralph and Eddie Ray Martin as Lewis at various stages of his life. The story "follows the author as he battles with himself and ultimately finds faith," Deadline wrote. Also appearing are Tom Glenister as J. R. R. Tolkien, David Shields as Hugo Dyson, and Hubert Barton as Owen Barfield. The project is based on the U.S. play Lewis on Stage: The Most Reluctant Convert, adapted by and starring Max McLean, which was primarily based on Lewis's memoir Surprised By Joy.


Hannah Peterson will adapt and direct Daniel Hornsby's 2020 debut novel Via Negativa into a film that is being produced by Complementary Colors, Deadline reported. Peterson most recently collaborated with Chloé Zhao on Marvel Studio's Eternals as well asbest picture Oscar winner Nomadland. Her short film, East of the River, premiered at Tribeca Film Festival and Slamdance Film Festival in 2019, winning a jury honorable mention, and Peterson was awarded The Russo Brothers fellowship.

Books & Authors

Awards: Ottaway, Age Book of the Year Winners; Giller Longlist

Words Without Borders announced that Naveen Kishore will receive the 2021 Ottaway Award for the Promotion of International Literature during a hybrid ceremony on September 30 in New York City. The award recognizes an individual whose work and activism have supported WWB's mission of promoting cultural understanding through the publication and promotion of international literature.

"In his tireless work over four decades as founder of Seagull Books and the Seagull School of Publishing, Naveen Kishore shows us what it means to be a true champion for international literature in translation," said WWB board chair Samantha Schnee.


Robbie Arnott won the A$10,000 (about US$7,455) Age Book of the Year award for The Rain Heron, as the Australian prize made its return after a nine-year hiatus. For 2021, there is only a fiction prize but the intention is to add a nonfiction prize for 2022. 

The Age editor Gay Alcorn called The Rain Heron an "extremely well-deserved book to win... exceptionally original, I've never read anything like it. Hugely imaginative and lyrical, but also grounded in some deeper issues about the climate and what human beings do to [it, and] trying to redeem ourselves in some ways about what we've done to the world we're living in."


The 12-title longlist for the C$100,000 (about US$79,820) 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize, honoring "the very best in Canadian fiction," including novels, short story collections and graphic novels, has been announced. The shortlist will be unveiled October 5 and a winner named November 8.

Reading with... Dawn Turner

Dawn Turner is a journalist and novelist. A former columnist for the Chicago Tribune, she spent a decade and a half writing about race and people whose stories are often overlooked and dismissed. Her commentary has appeared in the Washington Post and on PBS NewsHour, CBS News's Sunday Morning, NPR and elsewhere. She has held fellowships at Harvard University, the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, and the University of Chicago. Three Girls from Bronzeville (Simon & Schuster, September 7, 2021) is her memoir about growing up on Chicago's South Side.

On your nightstand now:

The World According to Fannie Davis by Bridgett M. Davis is a daughter's gorgeous homage to her extraordinary mother. The Secret Lives of Church Ladies by Deesha Philyaw is another stunner, a sleeper cell of a book that's devastatingly riveting.

Favorite book when you were a child:

Hands down, the Pippi Longstocking series. When my best friend (whom I write about in my new memoir) told me that we could be what we read, we, like Pippi, became adventurous girls who scoured our neighborhood for discarded items that we believed could be made whole and new again.

Your top five authors:

I loved James Baldwin because his brain was as big as God's. Gwendolyn Brooks and Toni Morrison taught me that language was lyrical and that images could be rendered with a breathtaking economy. Richard Wright reflected the moment with a piercing truth. Ernest Gaines wove high-stakes stories that were dense and filled with lessons.

Book you're faked reading:

I keep threatening to re-read some of the "classics" from high school and college to understand why they are "classics."

Book you're an evangelist for:

There are two: I view Isabel Wilkerson's Caste and Heather McGhee's The Sum of Us as companion books that could be foundational for any course on the insidious reach of race.

Book you've bought for the cover:

I loved the cover to Educated by Tara Westover. I thought the idea of the pencil mimicking the mountain was sublime. And the cover for Tressie McMillan Cottom's Thick displayed a subtle ferocity. I didn't know what I was in for when I picked up both books--but they both dazzled.

Book that changed your life:

Gwendolyn Brooks's Maud Martha taught me the value and beauty of writing about regular folks, especially those who form the heartbeat of beleaguered communities.

Favorite line from a book:

From Carter G. Woodson's The Mis-Education of the Negro:

"When you control a man's thinking you do not have to worry about his actions.... He will find his 'proper place' and will stay in it. You do not need to send him to the back door. He will go without being told. In fact, if there is no back door, he will cut one for his special benefit. His education makes it necessary."

Five books you'll never part with:

These five feed my love of history, great storytelling and stories about divergent paths: Ernest Gaines's A Lesson Before Dying; Jeff Hobbs's The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League; Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward; Slavery by Another Name by Douglas A. Blackmon; The Good Lord Bird by James McBride.

Book you most want to read again for the first time:

Alex Kotlowitz's There Are No Children Here instructs us on the inhumanity of our zip code dictating our life outcomes.

Book Review

Review: Sankofa

Sankofa by Chibundu Onuzo (Catapult, $26 hardcover, 304p., 9781646220830, October 5, 2021)

Nigerian author Chibundu Onuzo (Welcome to Lagos) examines the ways in which one person's identities can intersect and conflict in this riveting, gracefully spare novel of self-discovery.

Biracial Anna never knew her father, only that he was an African student named Francis Aggrey who had a relationship with her Welsh mother and returned to his native country without realizing they had conceived a child. Six months after her mother's death and in the midst of a wrenching divorce, Anna finds two notebooks belonging to her father among her mother's belongings. Written in his student days, the journal entries inside reveal "an intelligent black man, angry, humorous," as he navigates racism, his own political awakening, and interracial romance in late 1960s Britain. Anna feels a kinship for the fiery, acerbic man in the journal, certain he would have understood her struggles with racism when her mother refused to see them. When she runs out of journal entries, Anna resorts to searching the Internet, with surprising results. Anna marvels "To find out at forty-eight that my father was alive and a six-hour flight away," but connecting with him won't be easy. Her father is alive but no longer Francis Aggrey. He is now Kofi Adjei, retired dictator of the small African nation of Bamana, and Anna's quest to know him will change her irrevocably.

Onuzo skillfully builds an authentic but unusual midlife reckoning. Her astute portrait of a woman attempting to find her way to her future by mining the past mirrors the mythical creature from which the story takes its title, a bird that flies forward while looking backward. "It's a poetic image but it cannot work in real life," Kofi warns Anna. A perpetual outsider, Anna has built a wall between herself and the world, which shows in the first-person narration through a cynical wit tempered by moments of raw vulnerability. However, Anna's father steals the show, first in his passionate journal entries as a budding revolutionary, then as the inscrutable, overbearing dictator who commands both gratitude and fear. Onuzo declines to move the plot in any foreseen directions, so while Anna may seem naive at times, readers will find their expectations about the outcome of her quest alternately vindicated and subverted. Onuzo shows that making peace with the past can be a starting point toward self-acceptance, and that imperfect families can find common ground in unexpected ways. --Jaclyn Fulwood, blogger at Infinite Reads

Shelf Talker: In this riveting, gracefully spare novel, a British woman faces culture shock when she learns her father is the former dictator of a small African nation.

Deeper Understanding

Robert Gray: Masking Up Again: 'Please Be Kind to Our Team Members'

Remembering May 2020, when I wrote about my first Covid-inspired mask dream. Remembering July last year, when I celebrated our freedom to wear a face mask. Remembering May 2021, when Literati Bookstore, Ann Arbor, Mich., announced it was "back open, 14 months later. Masks and kindness required for entry." Remembering this past June, when booksellers were "still having to deal with a certain kind of customer who finds the mild inconvenience of wearing a face mask infuriating." Remembering July 2021, when I wrote the last word (probably not) on face masks."

I have adjusted surprisingly well to being a masked man. The process of putting a mask in my pocket when I leave the house, slipping it on and off as the occasion calls for in public spaces, has become a simple ritual for me. That hasn't, as we know, been the case for some folks in our "curiouser & curiouser" world, with all its annoying variants, viral as well as behavioral.

In early August, Sandra Dear, co-owner of the Little Boho Bookshop, Bayonne, N.J., offered a summary of the store's mask policy under the heading "MASK ON PLEASE," noting: "From the outset of this pandemic the health and safety of every person entering The Little Boho Bookshop, our team members, our customers (especially our littlest ones), and our friends, was the top priority and that remains so today. So, this grateful small business owner kindly ask that EVERYONE entering The Little Boho Bookshop WEAR A MASK. We thank you for your continued support of us! Let's all work together to keep each other safe, as we cautiously move forward."

Just last week, the Detroit News (via the Columbus Dispatch) reported that as Covid-19 vaccinations increased and mask guidelines were loosened earlier this summer, Janet Webster Jones "took down the 'masks required' sign at her business, Source Booksellers in Detroit's Midtown. However, she changed her mind when infection rates began to rise again because of the delta variant."

Masking up again at Rediscovered Books in Boise, Idaho

"Then things started getting dicey for me, so we put signs up on the door again," she said. "And the orders came behind that masks should be encouraged.... If they come in without a mask, I point to our sanitization station. They always put them on. If they don't, they leave. That's okay with me."

Sailing upwind against viral waves has become part of a bookseller's job description now. Bob's Bookstore, Charleston, Ill., posted: "We are exhausted from having to argue with people about wearing a mask in our store, having to ask people to leave and them saying that they 'don't care' that we have a child that can not be vaccinated, providing masks and people pretending they don't know how to wear them, people sneaking past 3 signs and then walking around with their mask pulled down because they have a drink with a straw in their hand, idiots standing outside giving us the finger because they can't have their way. All while having a vaccination rate of 36%...."

Setting an example at Hipocampo Children's Books in Rochester, N.Y.

In Portland, Ore., Third Eye Books Accessories & Gifts brought a reality check to the face mask "debate" and noted: "Yep, Get ready for sign on OUR door. When at Third Eye Books. Please wear your mask properly at all times."

Portkey Books in Safety Harbor, Fla., has recently "modified our mask policy and currently ask that all customers wear masks while shopping at Portkey Books. We also offer virtual browsing for customers who are unable to wear a mask or who need to remain extra cautious. Thank you for your support and understanding."

Vaccinations are a whole other topic of concern for booksellers. The message from Epilogue Books Chocolate Brews, Chapel Hill, N.C., is similar to others I've seen elsewhere: "Just a reminder that our entire staff has been fully vaccinated with their complete doses! Our priority is the safety of our customers and staff and with the delta variant looming, we want you to feel good about visiting Epilogue."

Read Books, Virginia Beach, Va., is getting the news out about face masks and vaccinations with "some fun facts about our #readbooks family. We are #vaccinated and we do in fact read a lot of #books ! So I (Kristin) designed a new mask with that message and had a super talented #localcreator make them. We are wearing masks in the shop again and strongly encourage you to do so when you visit us, no matter your #vaccinationstatus. Thanks for understanding!"

Another bookseller embracing the fashion mask approach is Whistlestop Bookshop, Carlisle, Pa.: "Unfortunately, masks are an ongoing need. But you don't have to be dowdy about it. New masks from the Ethos Fitness supporters arrived today!"

And the Village Bookstore, Pleasantville, N.Y., is offering a student option: "Fun masks for kids are back in the store! Pick one up for back-to-school."

"Friends. Epidemics are hard. Epidemics of pandemic proportions are hard," Rofhiwa Book Café, Durham, N.C., advised in early August. "We've been through and lost many loved ones in epidemics, unfortunately. It has been our particular experience that getting through them is a many times frustrating iterative process of information gathering and assessments, implementing best practices given available information, trying together, and sometimes failing together. But we have to try folks. We hope you'll try with us. We'll have disposable masks behind the counter for those who need them. Please ask a team member. Please be kind to our team members."

--Robert Gray, editor

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