Edgemont bookstore offering free delivery for isolated readers

If you can’t get to the bookstore, the bookstore might be able to come to you.

Starting today, 32 Books is offering free delivery for anyone within 10 kilometres of the Edgemont Village shop.

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“We’re not going to make any money doing that,” said owner Deb McVittie. “But what it is going to do is it’s going to put books in the hands that need them.”

While some details still need to be determined, McVittie said they may use a cab company or bookstore employees to deliver pulp-and-ink passports to readers who have decided to avoid browsing for the time being.

The shop has limited operating hours from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and has enacted safety measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic, McVittie said.

“Every single day we’re having long conversations among the staff, trying to decide how best to keep everybody safe,” McVittie said. “As a small shop, we have a lot of control over our environment.”

Each customers is asked to wash their hands as soon as they enter the store. The handwashing area is constantly cleaned and sanitized, McVittie said.

They may also limit the number of customers in the store, if necessary.

“That's not usually a problem right now. It’s pretty quiet,” McVittie said.

Customers are asked to call and pay ahead before picking up books, if possible. The shop is accepting debit and credit cards but not cash.

With one employee travelling and another self-isolating, there are three staffers holding down the fort, McVittie said.

“Nothing is the same as it was a month ago,” she said.

However, for folks “looking for books to stay home with,” McVittie is recommending Virgil Wander by Leif Enger and The Overstory by Richard Powers, which she describes as a “big, chewy book” with writing so beautiful you stop to re-read sentences.

“You’ll never think the same way about trees again,” she promised.

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