Brooklyn’s independent bookshops move operations online amid outbreak

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Greenlight Bookstore in Fort Greene is offering their inventory for sale online.

The borough’s independent bookstores have taken quite a hit as state regulations have forced all non-essential businesses to temporarily close their doors in an effort to lessen the spread of novel coronavirus. However, many stores have simply moved their operations online instead of closing up completely.

“We decided to do the deliveries because we really love our customers most of all,” said Christine Freglette, owner of The BookMark Shoppe in Bay Ridge. “We have been a part of the community for 18 years. We have so many people who rely on us and we want to bring to them whatever we can.”

For many, Freglette said, books are the greatest escape from the current crisis.

“For some, books is their only way to pass the time and that is what they are used to — we can’t just take that away,” she said. “For others, we have been able to help with workbooks and other educational items for home schooling.”

The BookMark Shoppe, like other literary suppliers across Brooklyn, has had to improvise given the current climate. Here’s a list of Brooklyn bookstores that will bring the books right to your front door while you self-quarantine:

Community Bookstore and Terrace Books

Park Slope’s Community Bookstore and its sister bookshop Terrace Books in Windsor Terrace have both moved their inventories online. Their joint website includes Terrace Book’s rare book selection and those in search of a new or popular title can check out the self-explanatory “In Our Front Window” section.

Shop online for both bookstores here.  

Books are Magic

Cobble Hill’s Book are Magic will continue fulfilling online book orders Mondays through Fridays from 9 am to 4 pm. Their wide range of titles should have an option for every reader and indecisive shoppers can find solace in an assortment of recommendation lists including staff’s picks and works with a focus on social justice. 

Shop online here

Greenlight Books

The independently-owned bookshops in Prospect-Leffert Gardens and Fort Greene are not only continuing to sell their books online but are also offering a slate of book groups and other interactive events through the video-conferencing website Zoom. And readers who can’t wait any longer to escape into a new story can purchase an audiobook on Greenlight’s online store as well. 

Check them out here

Archestratus Books and Foods 

If you are in need of some food inspiration while stuck at home, head on over to the website of Greenpoint’s Archestratus Books and Foods. The Sicilian bakery meets bookshop will ship online purchases and is offering their food and pantry selection for curbside pickup Thursdays through Sundays.

Curbside pickup available at Archestratus (160 Huron Street at the intersection of Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint). Thursday to Saturday, 12-5 pm, Sunday 12-3 pm. Shop online here

The BookMark Shoppe

While having closed this storefront, this Bay Ridge bookshop will deliver your order anywhere in the country for free. Also known for its fun bookmarks and other trinkets, the BookMark Shoppe is the perfect place to make some purchases for the family while shopping for your next read.

“While we are afraid of what will happen to us and the reality of how long we can sustain without a strorefront, the messages that I receive, full of joy, when they receive the delivery is more than enough,” Freglette, the store’s owner, told Brooklyn Paper.

Shop online here