While we all may feel like we're living in the pages of a dystopian apocalyptic novel, few things are more appealing than being able to escape with an actual novel - thankfully still provided by our friendly local purveyor, The Yankee Bookshop.
Who are you and where do you live?
Kari Meutsch & Kristian Preylowski, currently living in Bridgewater
What do you do? For how long have you been doing it?
We own and run The Yankee Bookshop. It's now been just over 3 years since we became the 8th owners of the shop.
How has your life and livelihood changed in the time of Covid-19?
Things are definitely different. Business is down for us, just like everywhere else. Our community continues to support us as best they can, but now it's through website orders and emails instead of those face-to-face meetings. Our store was built for browsing & discovering titles you didn't know about, so now we're doing even more recommending than ever before. We've had to change our website to help fill that "discovery" void, and it's been an interesting challenge. But so far we feel like we're staying on top of things and still able to provide information and escape to anyone who wants it.
What is the most important thing that people can do to help support you and/or your business?
Gift cards are the best way to support any business right now. They work as an investment so we can pay bills, and it's the promise that you will come back and see us when this is all over. The next best thing is to purchase the books that we already have on our shelves. We can still do special orders for individuals as needed, but the books on our shelves are already paid for and therefore incur less new costs. We're also encouraging anyone who can to place orders through our website, because that allows for the streamlining of processes on our end.
What changes do you hope to see in a post-quarantine world?
We're hoping that this is a chance for people to adjust their online habits, to realize that many of your favorite local spots do have websites (we've had ours for nearly 2 years) and so online shopping doesn't have to go only toward giant retailers - it actually can stay within your community. Another, more general hope is that we take this pause and realize that we can all slow down a bit in our daily routines, and that when this is all over we continue to be so thoughtful and considerate toward our neighbors in the community. It's been amazing to see the outpouring of support for local organizations and between individuals. Let's keep it up on the other side of all of this.
Thank you, Kari and Kristian, for helping us find new worlds to enjoy while we try to find our way in this one; we'll look forward to browsing your shelves in person soon!