New York’s legendary Strand Bookstore is asking the public for help staying in business.
The independent bookstore in Manhattan, which has seen revenue drop since the pandemic struck the nation, took to Twitter to ask readers to help it stay afloat.
“We need your help,” the bookstore’s account tweeted. “This is the post we hoped to never write, but today marks a huge turning point in The Strand's history. Our revenue has dropped nearly 70% compared to last year, and the loans and cash reserves that have kept us afloat these past months are depleted.”
The bookstore’s owner, Nancy Bass Wyden, wrote, “We’ve survived just about everything for 93 years—the Great Depression, two World Wars, big box bookstores, e-books and online behemoths … Because of the impact of Covid-19, we cannot survive the huge decline in foot-traffic, a near complete loss of tourism, and zero in-store events (compared to 400 events pre-pandemic).”
Wyden urged readers to order from the store’s website, visit their physical locations, buy books as holiday gifts early, and “spread the word” about the bookseller on social media using the hashtag #savethestrand.
“[F]or 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 is a vaccine,” Wyden wrote.
Michael Schaub is a Texas-based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.