Support Your Independent Bookstore!

Hearts and MindsMany of them have closed their shops amid the coronavirus pandemic, but they are still selling online. Many of these stores, like Hearts & Minds Bookstore in Dallastown, are doing curbside delivery.

Here is The New York Times:

A growing number of independent booksellers have responded to the public health crisis by closing their stores and sending employees home. On Monday, the Strand bookstore announced that it was closing its flagship store in Manhattan and its kiosks elsewhere around the city. Emily Powell, the owner and chief executive of Powell’s Books in Portland, Ore., announced that Powell’s was closing all five of its locations through at least March 31.

Some independent booksellers, including Powell’s, have already begun cutting staff. On Monday, Powell’s announced to employees that it will begin involuntary layoffs after determining the minimum number of employees it needs to keep the online store functioning. A representative of the local union that represents 400 Powell’s workers said that about 85 percent of them had already been affected by temporary layoffs, and that the company has signaled that permanent layoffs are likely to follow.

McNally Jackson, an independent chain in New York, let a substantial number of its employees go after deciding to shutter its stores for the time being. On Twitter, the company said it had temporarily laid off many of its staffers while “facing down a massive, unprecedented loss in revenue,” and added that “we intend to hire back our employees as soon as we can.” A note on the company’s website said that it is still accepting phone and online orders while the stores are closed, and offering delivery.

Other bookstores, which often serve as community hubs as well as businesses, are trying to offset falling foot traffic by offering customers free delivery or curbside pickup. The novelist Ann Patchett, a co-owner of Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tenn., said her store is offering curbside book delivery and free shipping for orders over $50, and is putting together video book recommendations for its website. “It does seem like a great time to get some reading done,” Ms. Patchett said.

I am buying some of my books from Beth and Byron Borger at Hearts & Minds. If you don’t have a favorite bookstore, or if you have a particular interest in religion, theology, church history, and Christian perspectives on contemporary issues, then I encourage you to buy from Hearts & Minds!  Order here.

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