Joining forces to support the Capital Region’s indie bookstores with #IndieBookstoreBoost
Independent bookstores are communal gathering places that are central to a vibrant village, town or city. They are the heart and soul of local communities for everyone who loves good books. They are a beacon of possibility and escape where patrons of all ages can browse the shelves, talk with experienced booksellers, and discover new voices that will transport readers to unimagined places.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced indie bookstores, like other small businesses, to shut down for the past two months. They are now in dire financial straits. Sales have plummeted, despite online orders. Proprietors have been forced to furlough staff, to apply for bailout funds, and to seek desperate measures to stay alive. They are struggling mightily to remain in business. They need our help.
The NYS Writers Institute and WAMC Northeast Public Radio are joining forces to assist the Capital Region’s indie bookstores with a new initiative we’re calling #IndieBookstoreBoost
Joe Donahue, host of WAMC’s Book Show, and Writers Institute Director Paul Grondahl will conduct an online interview each week with notable authors talking about their newly published books. Each recorded interview will be geared to a local indie bookstore, with a link for listeners to purchase the author’s book directly from that indie bookstore. There also will be options to buy gift cards or make a donation toward the purchase of children’s books to be distributed to under-served children in their community.
Our goal with #IndieBookstoreBoost is to encourage book sales and to increase revenue during this do-or-die moment for these vital community centers.
Watch for updates at The Conversation, WAMC and indie bookstores for a schedule of upcoming author guests on #IndieBookstoreBoost.
To kick off this new initiative, Donahue and Grondahl interviewed these independent bookstore proprietors in the Capital Region who spoke frankly and openly about the desperate situation they are in due to the COVID-19 outbreak:
Chris Morrow, Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs and Manchester, Vt. (www.northshire.com)
Susan Novotny, Book House of Stuyvesant Plaza in Guilderland (www.bhny.com)
Stanley Hadsell, Market Block Books in Troy (www.bhny.com)
Lily Bartels, The Open Door Bookstore in Schenectady (www.opendoor-bookstore.com)
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Please join Joe Donahue, Paul Grondahl and all who love and cherish our indie bookstores. They need us now, more than ever. Their very survival is at stake. They are a scrappy and resilient bunch. They have survived economic recessions, the competition of chain bookstores Borders and Barnes & Noble and the online behemoth of Amazon.
We are confident that, with a little bit of #IndieBookstoreBoost they will survive the financial stress of the COVID-19 outbreak, as well.
Let’s remember that we’re all in this together and that if we all do a small act of generosity, we can ensure that our beloved indie bookstores will survive and thrive beyond the coronavirus pandemic.