This one particular New York bookshop has some very devoted fans. Strand Bookstore is an independent book seller in New York City and took a major hit because of the pandemic. With growing competition from giant online book sellers like Amazon added in, traditional independent bookstores had to rely on their loyal customer base. Strand is the single remaining establishment out of 48 bookstores that once the length of 4th Avenue’s famous book row.
Unfortunately, with the Covid-19 pandemic reduced crucial foot-traffic due to physical distancing and lockdowns, store proprietor Nancy Bass Wyden, granddaughter of the store’s original owner, was faced with an awful prospect of having to close the Strand’s doors forever.
In a last effort effort to reach out for help, Bass reached out to her customer base with a plea for help. “I’m going to pull out all the stops,” she tweeted, “to keep sharing our mutual love of the printed word. But for the first time in the Strand’s 93-year history, we need to mobilize the community to buy from us so we can keep our doors open until there’s a vaccine.”
The response from from her clientele was huge and positive! This came in the order of 25,000 orders and $200,000 in sales over the course of the weekend and crashed the website! One particular Bronx patron ordered 197 books!
Having suffered heavy financial losses earlier in the year, even with the amazing outpouring of love and a much-needed infusion of cash, the Strand isn’t out of the woods just yet, but Bass Wyden is determined not to give up.
As the 3rd generation owner,” she said, “I have tried to imagine what my dad and grandfather would do right now after they spent their entire lives—6 days a week—working at the store. I don’t believe they would want me to give up without a fight.”
As long as there are books to be read, there are stories to be told!
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