Monday, March 23, 2020

Some Bookstore Reactions to Covid - 19

From BBC:
So, it feels especially painful that during this global pandemic, bookshops – at least physically – have become increasingly out of bounds. As Covid-19 spreads around the world, many countries are entering periods of total lockdown, with all but essential services closed and people ordered to stay inside. Even where official lockdowns are not in place, social distancing and avoiding unnecessary contact is urged. Many people are choosing to self-quarantine because they are at high-risk or want to help stop the spread.
“Booksellers are among the most resilient, warm and resourceful of people, and bookshops have been swift to adapt to the obstacles of social distancing and self-isolation to provide incredible services for their customers,” says Meryl Halls, managing director of the Booksellers Association of the UK and Ireland. But she says it’s vital to remember that, while many bookshops are demonstrating pragmatism and optimism, they still desperately need the support of the public, the publishing industry and their governments to weather this new landscape.
It’s not just adult readers affected by bookshop closures, but children too. In the town of Kyneton in Victoria, Australia, Squishy Minnie is used to up to 100 kids cramming into the shop for a weekly story hour – some feat for a place with a population of 6,000. When owner Kristen Proud made the decision to shut up shop, she wanted to keep the community connected, so they have moved their story-time to YouTube. “After our first one went live we had an overwhelmingly positive response, with many people in self isolation contacting us with photos of their children enjoying it and people thanking us for keeping some routine in their lives.”
From The Guardian:
The British businessman, who is self-isolating after recently returning from the US, said Waterstones was “providing a real social benefit” and was not “slave-driving our booksellers into working against their will”.  Hours later, Daunt told staff he was closing the stores “with great regret” and “having heard from many booksellers that they feel obliged to continue to work as long as the shops are open”. He said shop-floor staff had responded heroically in exceptionally difficult times.
From Vox:
What did I learn from making this list? That perfect murders, at least the artful kind we find in books, are all about concealment and misdirection. They have a lot in common with well-executed magic: it’s all about fooling the detectives (and the readers), making us look away from where the crime is happening. Agatha Christie’s The ABC Murders, another book on Malcolm’s list, is a textbook example: it appears as though a psychopath is bumping off victims according to the initials of their names, but the truth is something else altogether. Poirot, naturally, is not misled, and the world can be set to rights.
From Goodreader:
Barnes and Noble is in a precarious position due to the Coronavirus. Dozens of stores already have closed and it is inevitable that the chain will fully close in the coming days. B&N CEO James Daunt told his staff that, should store locations have to close their doors, staffers will “first make use of their Paid Time Off.” After that, employees with a year or more of service will receive “up to” two weeks of pay. “Temporarily, and with sincere regret, on closure we lay off all those employees impacted with less than 6 months employment on the day of closure.”
From Campus Technology:
VitalSource is offering free access to digital learning materials through the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester, to aid those students attending colleges and universities that have closed in response to COVID-19. Beginning today and going through May 25, 2020, students may access "an expansive catalog" of digital content if they attend a participating institutionWith Barnes & Noble.

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