So, I lied yesterday. On Twitter, I said: “Yes, we’re open. No, we’re not closing. We can’t afford to.”
Today, we can’t afford not to.
This weekend, business was booming. It was like summer–high tourist season, jam-packed with customers, recommendations constant, so many web-orders–and while normally that would make us intensely happy, and while we are absolutely grateful for the support this community has shown us…we were nervous the whole time. Your safety, and the safety of our booksellers is paramount. So, we’ve taken a step back and reevaluated what we need to do to help keep this community safe.
We’ve decided to close the store to the public for the foreseeable future–until April 6th, at least.
We will still be open, in a sense! Our booksellers will be in the store, working behind the scenes, in a reduced capacity, to process orders, make deliveries, receive books, answer calls (from 10am-2pm)… We’re going to do everything we can to keep getting books to you, in every way we can, without putting our booksellers or the public at greater risk.
So, here’s the rundown:
- FREE SHIPPING. This is the biggest one. All orders from our website will ship free. Booksellers will be on hand to process the orders and get them shipped as soon as humanly possibly.
- CURBSIDE PICKUP. Purchase books over the phone, then drive over between 10am and 2pm; let us know when you’re outside, and we’ll bring books to your car. We’ll hand them right in through the window, no contact!
- HOME DELIVERY. Purchase books over the phone, tell us your address, and one of our booksellers will bring them to your house. Call by 1pm and get same-day delivery. We’ll leave them at your door.
- CHAT WITH A BOOKSELLER. We know one of the defining qualities of indie bookstores is the personal touch–the browsing, the recommendations, the bookseller-to-customer interaction. This is what we will miss the most, and what we most hate losing by closing our doors to the public. To bring at least some of that interaction back, if you have a Google account, we’ll be opening Chat With a Bookseller. Hit us up on Google Hangouts (firstname.lastname@example.org) and one of our booksellers will chat with you face to face to make recommendations and sales.
- If you want to go text-only, you can message us on Facebook or Twitter at any time, and get the same personalized recommendations.
- We will also be doing extensive social media outreach–we’ll be putting up recommended reading lists here on the blog and featuring new releases on Facebook and Instagram so you can still “browse” books.
Of course, all the things from the last blog post still apply: Events are still postponed, Storytime and book clubs cancelled, pre-orders absolutely up and running, gift cards a fantastic way to support us. Libro.fm is offering a two-for-one audiobook deal for new subscribers, and we get a portion of those sales. Following us here, on social media, and signing up for our newsletter is the best way to stay up to date on any news we have.
We cannot stress enough how grateful we are for your support right now. Your continued support will keep us afloat so we can reopen once this crisis has passed with strength and vigor. Thank you for understanding, for helping us protect you and our staff, for taking care of this beautiful community that we love so much.
–the Staff at OFB