Strange times, aren’t they?
I hope you are all staying well and sane during the Covid-19 pandemic. Amongst many other concerns I have, I am worried for small businesses and their staff.
There are many I could name and ask you to support – but I’m going to focus on the industry I’m in. Have you thought about how you could support your local book shops?
Independent, bricks and mortar shops are clearly going to suffer in the next few weeks. But perhaps you will be self-isolating and in need of books? Perhaps you (like me) are finding that reading is one of the few things that is keeping anxiety at bay? Perhaps you are anticipating school closures causing your kids to be at home for weeks on end, and need some books to keep them occupied?
The author Ruth Ware has compiled a list of independent book shops across the UK on her Twitter profile – view it here. Perhaps you could order a book from a shop local to you?
If, like me, you live in Bristol (or you’d like some suggestions for shops to support) I’ve been in touch with our two smallest book shops – Max Minerva’s and Story Smith – and they are both prepared to take orders over the phone or through their websites.
You may also wish to support your local branch of Waterstones or Foyles… or other similar shops near you who have the overheads of rent and staff to cover. Support Waterstones and Foyles by ordering through their websites, or you may find you can call up your local shop and they’ll post you a book.
Is your industry, your business, or your job likely to be badly affected? I’d like to hear about it – please comment below. I know a lot about what is happening in my bookish bubble – sales suffering, promotional tours getting cancelled, shops struggling – but I’d like to understand more of what it is meaning for the rest of you so I can get my head around whether I can help in any way.