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Covid-19 forced independent booksellers in the US to close down temporarily.
In less than a week, brisk early March sales at bookstores in many regions have given way to temporary closures in response to the widening effects of the new coronavirus outbreak.
Belmont Books in Belmont and Newtonville Books in Newton, were among the first stores to announce a temporary closure in an e-mail to customers on Friday, March 13 until month-end.
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced the closure of all retail businesses that hold more than 25 people in a room at a given time.
Literati Bookstore in Ann Arbor announced a temporary closure and its co-owners Mike and Hilary Gustafson urged customers to support the store online.
On Sunday, Bookends and Beginnings in Evanston and Zenith Bookstore in Duluth, announced that they were going to also close their doors indefinitely due to public health concerns but would fulfill online orders and offer curbside pickup for locals.
Seminary Co-op Bookstores in Chicago and Milkweed Books in Minneapolis’s Open Book literary complex are also closed indefinitely.
RiverRun Bookstore in Portsmouth and Belmont Books in Belmont offered customers curbside pickup for their orders. Square Books in Oxford remained open, but encouraged readers to take precautions, and began offering incentives like free delivery for orders within a five-mile radius of Oxford. And A Room of One’s Own in Madison, Wis. will be open only four hours, noon to 4 p.m. every day.
The Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc) reassured booksellers that it is able to provide limited financial assistance for those who become ill or are unable to work due to a mandatory quarantine, and urged booksellers to ask for help if they need it.