COVID-19 #4 Anniversary Edition
I’m writing this on Friday, May 1, the eve of Pages Bookshop’s fifth anniversary. The store has been closed to customers since March 16, almost 7 weeks ago. The last day the store was open, Saturday March 14, was an amazing day. The store was packed with customers, people were interacting, and I sold a lot of books. That day reminded me of what the store had become because of all of you. We were, however, under the cloud of COVID-19 which led to my decision to close the store.
These past weeks have been filled with disbelief, stress, loneliness, and a deep appreciation of my booksellers and customers. The good news is that this week has been a turnaround one for me. First, non-essential businesses were allowed to resume curbside pickup. I was able to safely talk to customers for the first time in weeks! Today, my booksellers and I had our weekly Google Hangout meeting and it’s always the highlight of my week. But today only got better. More chats with customers on a beautiful day, and I was approved for the Paycheck Protection Program loan! Then, I received an email that my store T-shirts were ready and will be on sale online tomorrow. Finally, I watched a video compilation of authors I’ve had in the store, beginning with my first event with author Angela Flournoy, and it reminded me again of why I do what I do.
You, my customers new and old, have shown me support online that I never could have imagined before this pandemic. My booksellers have held the store together from afar and provided amazing support for me. Without all of you there would be no Pages Bookshop. Thank you. I’m looking forward to the next five years!