Here we are, one year since the first time we closed to browsing. 365 days since the store closed to the public. Less than that since we reopened to browsing, and then closed again, and then opened again–you know how it’s been. But it’s been a year since the store decreed limited capacity, and a year since things have been anything resembling normal.
(Although, to be fair, is anything ever really normal? Especially in bookstores, where magic happens?)
Anyway, this year has been long. It’s been hard and exhausting, and we’ve spent a lot of it frustrated. But we’ve also spent a lot of it energized, persistent, and grateful. We reinvented our business at least six times, figured out curbside and deliveries, shipped more books than we care to count to all 50 states, every inhabited continent, and not a few islands. We stayed caught up on the deluge of web orders, and we were–are–grateful for every single one. We learned how to host virtual events, and got pretty good at it (if I do say so myself!). We stood up for what we believe in (that Black lives matter, that trans rights are human rights, that voting is beyond important, that books are magic), and plan to continue doing so.
We’re traumatized. Straight up. Everyone is. And we’re still keeping up the highest level of precautions we can until the vaccine is more widely distributed–we’re keeping lower capacity on customers and staff, we’re masking up, we’re working from home when we can, we’re washing hands and sanitizing everything–because it isn’t over yet. This milestone is huge and scary, but it’s not the end of the road. It’s still going to be a long while until we’re back to wide open doors and in person events, it’s going to be a long while until we feel safe again, it’s going to be a long while before we can being to recover and heal.
We’re hoping you’ll be with us every step of the way, as you have been this past year.
Thank you–we’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again!–thank you, thank you. We can’t do this without you. Without the web orders and the smiles behind the masks, without the views on virtual events, without your patience, support, kind words–we wouldn’t be able to do this. And it’s because of you that we have no plans to stop doing this. We’re here to bring you the magic of paper and ink, the escape between the covers, the stories that connect us. We’re here to be your bookstore. And we love you.
Thank you, for making this year bearable.
–the Staff at OFB