The Latest Changes
Nothing lasts forever, and during a pandemic, that's especially true. While northern Michigan enjoyed relatively low numbers of COVID cases during the summer, numbers are rising dramatically now, and as the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issues stricter mandates to stop the spread of disease, we're also making plans to keep our booksellers and customers safe even through the busy holiday shopping season.
Here's where we stand:
Right now, retail establishments may remain open, and we are planning to continue with our current schedule of hours for the time being. For now, we are open by appointment only and accepting walk-in customers when time and space permit.
With such a small staff, we're particularly vulnerable to quarantine-related shutdowns, so we are taking this one day at a time and continuing to assess the risk to our staff and customers. No matter what changes we make, though, we will still be doing our best to provide the personal and expert service you've come to expect, whether that means via phone, email, social media, videochat, or other means. We'll still be here for you...even if we can't physically be here for you.
What does this mean for me as a customer in the store?
Please refrain from entering unless you plan to make a purchase. We know it's a pleasure to simply browse through a bookstore, but with the holidays approaching and our capacity limited, there are lots of people who would like to come in and finish their planned holiday shopping, and if the store is filled with browsers, we have to turn them away. Please be conscientious and do your browsing here on our website instead of in-store.
Keep your visit brief—under fifteen minutes is best. Ask a bookseller to help you find the books you're looking for, or to make recommendations, so you can be on your way and limit the risk to both our staff and yourself.
We are strict about making sure all our guests wear masks appropriately (fully covering nose and mouth) while in the store. The only exception to this rule is for children under two years old. If you can't wear a mask for any other reason, please let us know, and we will be happy to assist you outside the store, or you can place an order online to be shipped direct to your home. To make sure mask-wearing is consistent, we ask that you please refrain from eating or drinking during your visit.
We will also continue to require the use of hand sanitizer before shopping in the store. The weather is getting colder now, so we understand that many of you may be wearing winter gloves. Because these come into contact with so many surfaces, we ask that you please remove them at the door and grab some sanitizer before you continue.
How will we know if your schedule changes?
While we plan to maintain our current schedule for the time being, that could change at any moment. Regardless of state restrictions, we have a responsibility to our staff and customers to keep everyone safe while shopping with us, and if we feel we can't offer that with our doors open, we will switch to alternative methods. Any time we make changes, we will announce them via email (if you're not on our list, now's a great time to join!), as well as here on the website. Our current hours and policies are listed here, and will be updated as soon as decisions are finalized and our staff notified of any changes.
If the store has to close due to a lockdown, will I still get my orders?
Yes, absolutely. If a shelter-in-place order requires us to limit on-site staff to a single person, however, it will likely take longer to get packages out the door, and we will see another increase in shipping volume with the postal service, slowing things down further. Please make sure to get your holiday orders in as soon as possible to avoid this possibility! Don't wait until December!
Will curbside pickup continue to be available?
Yes, for as long as possible. If regulations permit curbside pickup for items other than those critical to life (like food and medicine), and as long as we're permitted to have more than one person here on site, we will continue to offer contactless curbside pickup for orders large and small. If you're picking up an order curbside, please make sure to put your mask on before our booksellers bring out your order.
We know this is tough. We're all so very tired of the pandemic and all its attendant inconveniences and anxieties. But our staff members have been affected by this personally—though none of us have been infected thus far, we all know someone who has.
Not all of them have recovered.
We can't afford to take this lightly, not as a business, and not as people. So for as long as it takes, we're going to keep enforcing the precautions and doing what we can to keep us all safe. We want to see you all again when this is over. So until then, stay home, stay safe, and stay in touch virtually. We'll get through this.