Two days after the cancellation of their annual sidewalk sale, Underground Books announced Sunday that they will be temporarily closing their doors amid the public health crisis posed by COVID-19. They have taken this opportunity to remind Carroll County bibliophiles of an online method of buying books that supports independent, family-owned bookstores.
Bookshop, which made its debut in January, is an online organization committed to financially supporting independent booksellers.
In a wave of public closures, people being sequestered indoors to ride out this pandemic may find themselves ordering books online. Bookshop aims to coordinate with booksellers, authors, and publishers to allow people to do so without driving sales to Amazon.
Independent booksellers need the public’s support fending off the commercial giant. Megan Bell and Josh Niesse, co-owners of Underground Books, had this to say on the evolving matter:
“We feel so fortunate to live, work, and follow our dreams in a community that recognizes the impact supporting independent business makes on a town. Right now, while the coronavirus is separating us physically, we have to take extra steps to support each other screen-to-screen. Amazon isn’t a place around the corner, it’s not a neighbor who cares about washing their hands so they can help keep you safe. Fortunately, the pressure Amazon and others have placed on indie bookstores has made us more creative and quicker on our feet. Readers who love indie booksellers have several online options open to them to keep their bookstores safe during the coronavirus crisis…”
They elaborated, “Buy books through Bookshop. Enter through our portal and all the books you order will ship directly to your doorstep. 25% of every sale will benefit Underground Books. Just make sure you enter through our unique link https://bookshop.org/shop/undergroundbooks and ensure you see the Underground Books banner at the top of the page. While books are discounted on Bookshop.org, the reality is that you will likely pay a few bucks more than you would on Amazon, but you also get to keep your independent bookstores alive and ready to welcome you back when they reopen their doors.
“You can also buy audiobooks through Libro FM Audiobooks. Libro offers audiobook subscriptions at the same monthly price as Audible, but instead of supporting Amazon, you pick a local independent bookstore for your purchase to benefit. Usually about 20% of our Libro sales directly benefit our bookstore. In response to coronavirus, Libro is currently offering 100% of the proceeds of new sign-ups to benefit your bookstore of choice, plus you get two audiobook credits for the price of one to kickstart your subscription. Be sure to select Underground Books as your local bookstore during sign-up!”
With these options available, Carrolltonians can continue to support local businesses in these trying times. For more information, feel free to visit: https://www.facebook.com/UndergroundBooksCarrollton/