A Gentleman Bookseller at the End of the World

by Giovanni, a Bookloft bookseller

COVID-19 is a scary thing. New information about it comes out every day and life as we know it will never be the same. But being a bookseller in an unprecedented time gives me a new perspective on the role books play in our society.

For two and a half months, we were closed to the public, not even allowed to come into the store to fulfill online orders. It was understandable, as we were still learning the effects of the virus and how it spreads.

But all that downtime was spent reading. I read at least one to two books per week. And when we reopened for online ordering, we were flooded with requests for new books. Having been opened for just over a month, we still get inundated with orders and requests for books.

Books offer an escape from reality. Whether it’s the next summer beach read, a suspenseful thriller by your favorite author, or diving headfirst into a different world entirely, be it fantastical or futuristic, we find comfort in stories. They allow us to forget our troubles, the troubles of the real world, and maybe find hope or a happy ending in a good novel. Books also educate us and allow us to view the real world from a different perspective. Some of the best sellers have been about social justice and highlight the very real issues facing Black communities in our country.

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