Keep Calm and Keep Reading
QUICK UPDATE ON CURBSIDE PICKUP, WEB ORDERS, AND OUR MISSION
The storefront is still closed, while we work diligently toward reopening with procedures in place to allow us all, customers and staff, to be as safe as possible (a complex process, as it happens). Curbside pickup is still an option; just choose it when you check out. Once you have received a note from us that your order is ready, you may call from outside or knock on the front door and we'll bring your order out to the patio in a basket. Currently our hours for phone and for pickup are noon til six Monday through Saturday. And please note, your web order is ready only once you have received an email from us detailing its status. The nearly instant email acknowledgement you receive after you submit your order is merely that, an acknowledgement that our server has received it. Generally you'll receive a detailed response from us within 24-48 hours, depending on staffing levels and the volume of orders.
Please note, also, from late May through most of June, we, and most of our independent bookstore colleagues, experienced a huge surge in online orders, especially for books dealing with racism, racial justice, white supremacy, etc. We are all gratified that you are turning to books, and to us, as you seek information and answers, but the result has been that many of the books you are looking for are sold out everywhere. We are reordering like mad, and will gladly accept orders so that you will be in the queue when the books arrive back in the store. Because of coronavirus protocols, publishers and their printers are not able to reprint as quickly as they were in the past. This influx of orders, with our still limited staff, put us behind in processing your orders. Though the surge has subsided somewhat, we are still catching up. Please be patient, and call if you have urgent concerns.
The struggle for racial, social, and economic justice has been at the core of our mission as booksellers for the past 4+ decades, along with providing a space in which the voices of the under- and un- and mis-represented can be heard. It is time for all of us not to begin to listen but to really, really listen, with full attention and without pre-conception, to those voices.
Please bear with us as we continue to navigate all these issues together--clean hands, tight masks, clear vision, open minds, full hearts.
We are so incredibly grateful for all who have been ordering books, calling, and generally offering support and goodwill. We do not take this support for granted. While we continue to hope that we and all bookstores will survive, that only happens if people who can continue to buy books for themselves and, we hope, for the less fortunate as well. Whatever bookstores morph into will be reliant on the health of the local and national economy. While continued hard work and dedication will certainly keep us afloat for the time being, we know that these will not guarantee survival. Your goodwill and dedication are as critical as the work of staff. You have shown us that you more than have our back, you are nurturing our spirit. We have been utterly gobsmacked by your support over the past nine weeks. We will keep trying our hardest to come out the other side as something resembling an independent bookstore, a necessary place and space where people and books and stories and ideas live and breathe, collide and mesh, sing and dance, inspire and inform.
Thanks to all who have donated to the Say Yes / Talking Leaves campaign to provide gift certificates for this year’s graduating public school seniors.
With much affection and gratitude, and wishes that you all stay well and safe, and keep reading, until we can meet again in this special place we call an independent bookstore.