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Bookstores have been struggling to stay afloat ever since the pandemic forced all to shut down and cancel events. In the past couple of weeks, bookstores across the country and around the world have publicized their financial struggle and asked their costumers for help to be able to stay in business.
Just last week, the Strand’s owner Nancy Bass Wyden, posted an open letter on social media asking for help from the community and asking them to buy books since their sales were down 70% compared to last year.
image via the new york times
The letter was received with mixed opinions from people advocating for the stores and others blaming Waden for fiscal irresponsibility, buying Amazon stock, laying off workers after receiving a PPP loan of more than $1 million, and for not hiring black unionized workers. Despite the public’s perception of the owner, Nancy Wyden, book lovers were swift in their response after the letter was published.
Shortly after the release of this letter, people were lining up outside the two locations waiting to make purchases. By Saturday, they had received 10,000 online orders and by the end of the weekend they had received 25,000. The number of orders they would usually receive is 600. Their sales for those days are now their biggest sales for any October day ever. One story that stands out on this, is one costumer who purchased 197 books.
A union shop steward at the strand, Melissa Guzy, said “When people support the Strand, they aren’t just supporting Nancy, they’re supporting us, they’re supporting the workers.”
Despite the Strand’s effective call to action, many bookstores are still struggling to survive through the pandemic, so if you are purchasing any books soon, make sure to support your local independent bookstores!
Featured image via brooklynvegan