Bookstores — Essential Goods And Services

Are books essential goods? Absolutely. And not only is my neighborhood bookstore, Books on the Square, still open for business, they are offering a drive-through service out the back door, as well as a local delivery service.

The Providence Journal checked in on Twenty Stories, Paper Nautilus, and Books on the Square where

. . . store manager Jennifer Kandarian listened nervously Friday as Gov. Gina Raimondo’s daily press briefing played out over the sound system. The store was empty.

“If we shelter in place, all of my employees have no income,” said Kandarian. “That’s the reality. They have to plan for their own futures.

“We have a dozen people we’re worrying about. If we can stay open, we can keep the staff on reduced hours instead of saying, ‘Everybody, get out of here.’”

Full disclosure: The manager is a friend; as such I can guarantee that she is smart and responsible.

As with all “news updates” at this time, things can change on a dime. The Governor has just ordered barbers and salons to close. Check ahead before leaving the house.

Below, Chris maintains a safe distance behind the counter. Precautions are in place for keeping employees and customers safe. (No cash, credit cards only in store.)


Books on the Square has taken the distancing and hygiene very seriously. No cash, just credit cards.

Board games and jigsaw puzzles are flying off the shelves. (What is the psychology behind that? We have electricity.) Here are some of the paperbacks for sale.

The new Hilary Mantel is in — hardcover for now.  From the NYT review:

The “Wolf Hall” trilogy is probably the greatest historical fiction accomplishment of the past decade; the first two volumes both won Man Booker Prizes. But after “Bring Up the Bodies,” the enterprise, like Henry, has put on weight and self-importance. The final book feels heavier with food and custom and ceremony; catalogs of saints’ relics, clothing and wedding presents; an epic paragraph about plums.

Thing is, I love all that stuff. I am about half-way through and I’m very happy to be back with these people. And if you have yet to watch the PBS production of “Wolf Hall” with Mark Rylance, Claire Foy, and Damian Lewis, put that in your queue. A second season is in the works.

Support your local book stores!



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