Amidst the coronavirus outbreak, independent bookstores around the country are making an effort to get creative with their events and programming.
From themed online book clubs to outdoor events, here are just some of the ways bookstores are continuing to serve their communities in a fun, socially distant way.
- Loyalty Bookstores in Silver Spring, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., are hosting a digital book club series called “Date Night With Alyssa Cole.” Every other Friday, Alyssa Cole and a diverse group of romance writers convene online for a chat about all things writing.
- Danny Caine, owner of the Raven Book Store in Lawrence, Kansas, held an author event with his cat to raise funds for a local humane society.
- The Reading Bug in San Carlos, California, is holding outdoor story times and sing-alongs.
- Story and Song Bookstore & Bistro in Fernandina Beach, Florida, has launched The HAPPY PLACE Club, a one-year loyalty program with three levels of participation. Each level offers the store’s branded HAPPY PLACE merchandise, which includes car decals, face masks, stemless wine glasses, hot/cold thermal mugs, and burlap market totes.
- Marianne Reiner, owner of Run for Cover Bookstore in San Diego, California, introduced herself to new followers on Facebook in a video.
- In July, Bookends and Beginnings in Evanston, Illinois, participated in a sidewalk sale.
- The Ripped Bodice in Culver City, California, has launched a Historical Happy Hour with local author Felicia Grossman, as well as a Romance 101 writing workshop with Jeanne De Vita.
- Wild Geese Bookshop in Franklin, Indiana, now has a curbside pick-up cabinet, made by Slevin Woodworking.
- Ramunda and Derrick Young of MahoganyBooks in Washington, D.C., appeared on the National Retail Federation’s Retail Gets Real podcast, where they shared all the ways their store has stayed connected to its community during the pandemic, including developing book bundles for children, Blind Date with a Black Book mystery boxes, and their virtual author events.
- Gayle Werner of Werner Books in Erie, Pennsylvania, partnered with the Erie Zoo to donate books that were meant to be distributed at the annual Saint Patrick’s Day parade. Additionally, they’re holding a Summer Vacation School Book Fair with the zoo.