By Deonna Kelli Sayed
As the state gradually reopens, independent bookstores across North Carolina are experimenting with modified retail models to ensure that staff and customers remain safe.
The shutdown hasnâ€™t stopped literary community from happening. Many bookstores have remained open as essential businesses by shifting to online and phone orders.
Some bookstores launched online book clubs, author readings, and other virtual gatherings in April. Indie bookstores are emerging as the literary heart for many local communities during these challenging times, and provide a necessary link for authors to remain connected to readers.
Many bookstores currently rely on direct ordering, while others encourage customers to order through www.Bookshop.org, an alternative to Amazon that channels through indie bookstores. Most bookstores also offer gift certificates, so you can share the joy of reading with a loved one, or that new graduate.
April was a long month, indeed, and youâ€™re probably ready to browse a bookstore aisle; to discover a book you didnâ€™t know you needed.
Hereâ€™s a list of independent bookstores and their reopening policies. Not all bookstores are represented, and this information is subject to change. As always, please call ahead or check their website or social media pages for the most current information.
Whatâ€™s Open, Whatâ€™s Not
Bookmarks (Winston-Salem): At this time, the store remains open for curbside and online orders with hopes to open to foot traffic in the near future. Currently hosting online events: www.bookmarksnc.org.
City Light Bookstore (Sylva): Open for up to nine customers at a time with modified business hours. Masks are required, with the option of a free mask, or purchasing an affordable option on-site. Currently not accepting used books. Curbside service remains available: https://www.citylightsnc.com.
The Country Book Shop (Southern Pines): Offering curbside pickup for pre-paid orders via online or over the phone. The bookstore offers daily deliveries for Moore County residents, and free shipping for orders over $50: https://www.thecountrybookshop.biz.
Dee Deeâ€™s Gifts and Books (Morehead City): Shopping hours are Monday â€“ Friday, 10:00 am â€“ 5:00 pm, and Sundays by appointments. Customers are asked to wear masks while browsing, and use hand sanitizer upon entering. Masks are available onsite for purchase. Curbside Pickup/In Store Pickup, online orders, and phone orders will continue to be available: https://www.deegees.com.
Flyleaf Books (Chapel Hill): Staff is reassessing plans to open to the public. As of right now, Flyleaf is accepting online and phone orders, and contactless curbside pickup, limited local delivery. In-store pickup is by appointment and during the hours 12:00-3:00 pm, Tuesday â€“ Friday: https://www.flyleafbooks.com.
Foggy Pine Books (Boone): Open by appointment only for a personal shopping-style experience with complimentary tea and coffee. Masks are required, and customers will be asked to wash hands upon entering. Staff will be in masks with stringent cleaning measures in place: http://www.foggypinebooks.com.
Malaprop’s Bookstore & Cafe (Asheville): Beginning May 19, open by appointment only for Buncombe County residents. Masks are required. Staff also will be in masks. $2 delivery to Buncombe County with two-book minimum order. Free shipping via media mail for orders over $50. Online events: https://www.malaprops.com.
Page 158 Books (Wake Forest): Open for delivery and curbside pickup. Staff is reassessing when to open by appointment only. Masks and use of hand sanitizers will most likely be required. Currently hosting online events: https://www.page158books.com.
Park Road Books (Charlotte): Curbside pickup available Monday-Friday, 10:00 am â€“ 3:00 pm. Staff is reassessing on a weekly basis when to open to foot traffic: https://www.parkroadbooks.com.
Pomegranate Books (Wilmington): Open for curbside pick-up and shipping orders. Staff is accessing health metrics and will consider increasing hours and encouraging walk-in customers by June 1: https://pomegranatebooks.wordpress.com.
Quail Ridge Books (Raleigh): Open for limited browsing by appointment in one-hour slots. Masks required, and customers will be asked to wash hands upon entering. Extra sanitation policies are in place. Quail Ridge is currently hosting online events and accepts online orders for mail or curbside pick-up: https://www.quailridgebooks.com.
The Regulator Bookshop (Durham): Currently open for online orders and shipping. Staff is reassessing when to reopen to foot traffic: https://www.regulatorbookshop.com.
Sassafras on Sutton (Black Mountain): The bookstore has expanded store space and new hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00Â am – 6:00 pm. Customers have the option of making an appointment although this isnâ€™t required. Customers are asked to use the hand sanitizer at both entrances. Masks are strongly encouraged. Curbside service and online orders still available: https://sassafrasonsutton.com.
Scuppernong Books (Greensboro): Open for online and phone orders with plans to open to foot traffic on June 1. Appointments and masks will be required. CafÃ© will offer coffee-to-go only. Scuppernong is currently hosting online events: https://scuppernongbooks.com.
Sunrise Books (High Point): Open for browsing for up to 10 customers at a time; appointment preferred. Closed daily from 2:30-3:00 pm for cleaning. Masks required for entry and available for purchase for $3.00: https://sunrisebookshp.indielite.org.
Don’t see your favorite local bookshop listed? Contact them directly.
Also, the Network maintains a “Literary Events and Updates” page that may be helpful.