Let’s just… stop and sit here for a moment. Do you have a hot beverage? I just made a piping cup of black tea in my favorite Cheshire Cat Mug. Routines and little habits help when everything outside of my peaceful country hovel seems to be crumbling.
Not my best photograph, but bear with me, it’s 4:12am and I’m tired and troubled. The whole world is troubled, I know. About our crashing economies, about airstrikes in Iran, about so many things… but I think forefront in so many of our minds is COVID-19 and its rippling effects. If you turn on a television, pick up your phone to check social media, it’s all people are talking about. And every day it gets worse.
I could keep talking about this, about the way people react, about the stories I’m hearing from friends, about the hypocrisy of some people. But… we don’t need that right now. I don’t want to add any fuel to hysteria, so this will be the only time I build a post around COVID-19. We’re getting enough. One of the really nice things about books is that they provide a form of escapism – you can step into a different world and embrace it, fall into a place where good conquers evil and people are still able to go to coffee shops and or giggle over boba. And for those of us who are looking for a world that feels like our own, there’s always Station Eleven.
I am up at 4am, ignoring my SIE exam prep, drinking tea and writing a blog post because… I wanted to talk about the impact COVID-19 is going to have on small businesses. I know that isn’t forefront in most people’s minds, because there is so much going on in the world right now. I know people are panicked and rushing big box stores and grocery stores for essentials… but I also know that sporting good stores are selling out as gyms close, and the baking aisle at my local grocery store is completely empty. I’ve seen a lot of artisan bread pictures on social media. While I can’t speak as much for the rest of the world, we in the US are preparing for a good, long lock in. Many are already self-quarantined.
Indies are important, guys, and something like this is going to ruin so many small businesses. Here in Massachusetts, the restaurants have been restricted to take out only since Sunday. Many other small businesses are already closed for the safety of their employees and customers. Meanwhile, these people are out of work, unless you are supporting them. Many people are talking about buying gift certificates to use later… and yes, please do that.
While I want you guys to support as many small businesses as possible, as much as you can during this trying time, this is a book blog, so I’m going to talk about the bookstores in particular. Please order take out from your local diners, cafes, and restaurants if you can. And if you’re in quarantine and want to try take up crafting, here’s a shameless plug for my sister-in-law’s business, which among other things provides a monthly craft subscription service and do-it-yourself kits. But… lets talk about the bookstores.
You can still support your local indie without leaving your house. Right now is a great time to read books and while the library in my town is still open… I expect it to close any day now. I know books are a luxury and many don’t have the ability to buy them, but if there’s any books you’ve been wanting to buy and just haven’t yet… boy, now it the time to do it. If you have the ability to buy or gift books, please do.
The other day on Instagram, MacKenzie Lee posted a series of stories with book recommendations and the indie bookstores that will ship those books to you. If you’re like me and you don’t have a local indie bookstore, you can still support these small businesses. Many indie bookstores will ship to you, and many others (for those with local indies) are doing home delivery.
Unfortunately, I don’t have a local indie anymore, but I want to practice what I preach, so I am supporting The Golden Bee Bookshop in Liverpool, NY.
View this post on Instagram
?Announcement about ordering books to help support my shop, Golden Bee Bookshop. The shop is currently closed and will remain so through at least March 23. While the online bookshop is still in the works, and out of an abundance of caution I don’t want to touch anything that will be sent to you, there’s an interim option: Direct to Home shipping from Ingram. The process is a little more involved than ordering directly from a website, and shipping is generally around $6, so I completely understand if this is not for you. But as many of you have inquired about how to help the shop while it’s closed, this is an option in addition to buying gift cards and donating to the Book Van-Go collection. The nice thing about this option though is that you can order pretty much anything! Any genre, whatever your heart desires! This is available to anyone in the country. Here are the steps: 1. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with the title(s) you would like to order and your shipping information including a phone number. I will not use this information for any other purposes than submitting the order. 2. I will see if those titles are in stock on the Ingram website 3. If they are in stock, I will send you an invoice for the total payment due including tax and shipping fees. Shipping ground from my primary warehouse generally takes 1-3 business days and thus far Ingram has indicated that their warehouses have not been impacted by the COVID-19 measures. I so appreciate your help and patience during this complicated time, and truly hope that books can continue to provide adventures to other places while sitting at home. Cheers, Casey
I chose the Golden Bee because I’ve been following Casey on Instagram for… a long time. I think she was one of the first bookstagrammers I followed, and she’s such a lovely person. Casey just opened this little bookshop, and, I don’t know, I guess I just don’t want to see her lose her dream so soon. At all. If you don’t have a local indie but still want to support one right now, might I suggest the Golden Bee?
The Golden Bee is practicing, as Casey puts it, an abundance of caution. There are three ways to support this book shop:
- Gift certificates – you can support any small business this way so please consider it!
- Book Van-Go – Casey has partnered with a local charity that allows people to purchase books to be donated and delivered to local children.
Ordering from Ingram through The Golden Bee Bookshop (details in the embedded post above). Update 5/27/20: There is an order form right on the website now, very easy to support the shop!
So you see, you can even support indie bookstores without home delivery or an online store… I urge you guys to reach out to your local indie bookstore and see what options are available. Many small business owners already make just barely enough to get by, and they choose to live this life because they are following their dreams. This isn’t conjecture – my father owns his own business, and I was raised in that life. It is so important for the community to support one another right now. Depending on how long this goes on for, many of your favorite local haunts may not weather the storm without your help.
Times are hard right now. If you are at all able, please support one another. Be kind to one another. Buy only the items you need. Avoid buying WIC items to save those for those in need. Stop hoarding toilet paper guys, we will be fine on toilet paper. And, please, keep supporting small businesses.
Thanks guys. <3 Stay healthy. Take care of yourselves.
Let’s check in – how are you doing? Sometimes, in times of fear, it just helps to talk to somebody. My comments are open – let’s support one another.