Books, puzzles and boardgames are a great way to pass the time in quarantine, and local bookstore Books & Company is working to ensure residents can still get their literary fix while taking measures to protect their staff and the public.
On Tuesday, the store announced the closure of its coffee shop, Cafe Voltaire, but the bookstore will remain open Tuesday to Sunday from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. However, the store is asking customers to phone 250-563-6637 from outside the store so staff can limit the number of people inside, a statement issued to customers on Tuesday said.
"We will also still be offering curbside pickup, so please don't hesitate to call us and we'll personal shop for you and take (credit and debit card) payment over the phone," the statement said. "We still desperately want to get you the books, games or activities that you need to get through a tough time. Feel free to visit our online store by visiting – there, you will be able to see what books are currently on our shelves and reserve them for pickup."
If you're unsure what to pick up for yourself or someone else, the store is offering recommendations by phone, Facebook or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"We will be responding to your emails, calls, and social media messages as quickly as we can – thank you in advance for your patience and understanding," the press release said "In the meantime, to keep you stocked and to keep us feeling productive in our incredible book-loving community, we’ll be creating and offering kits, mystery bags and whatever else we can come up with to continue to sell enough books to remain open."
The store is also offering a small cart of free books out front during operating hours, and new books will be added periodically.
"Thank you – always and forever, but right now we really, truly appreciate your support – you are the reason we're still here," the statement said. "We appreciate you beyond words."