The new coronavirus presents a real challenge to bookstores. Here are some ways you can help keep your local bookstore open—during the pandemic and after—without leaving home.
1. Pre-Order Books Online
It’s likely that you know a book you want is being released in the coming weeks or montths, so ordering it during a downturn doesn’t cost you any more than you planned to spend, and paying now gives the store cash when they need it.
2. Order More Than What’s on Our Shelves
Many indies can actually have books shipped directly to you from a warehouse. The other advantage to warehouse fulfillment is booksellers can process these orders from home. They just need to click a button.
3. Listen to Digital Audiobooks Through Libro.fm
Many indie bookstores sell digital audiobooks through Libro.fm. You can purchase single audiobooks or get a monthly membership. The files are DRM-free so you actually own them. Libro pays quarterly which can be a challenge for stores, but digital audiobooks represent cash coming in that no one needs to leave the house for.
4. Buy E-books
Many bookstores sell e-books, which are another great “nobody has to touch anything” source of income.
5. Buy a Gift Card
Even if don’t have anything you want to buy now, but still want to support the store. Buy a gift card online. Think of this as a no-interest loan that will give the store income when they need it.
6. Stock Up Now
Most of us have a serious “to be read” pile, but adding a few more books won’t hurt. After all, books are shelf-stable products that last for centuries.