Well, I think it’s safe to say that this is, hands down, the strangest newsletter I’ve ever written. Like most of you, I’ve never experienced anything like this current crisis before and can’t quite wrap my head around it all. While tuning into our Prime Minister’s broadcast has become a daily ritual, I’m trying to limit my news-watching by keeping myself occupied reading books, doing puzzles, and playing games with my family. Although it’s sometimes hard to focus and settling into routines so different to what we’re used to is tough, we have to remind ourselves that the best thing we can do right now is stay at home, practice social-distancing if we do have to go out, and wash our hands thoroughly and often. Like Queen Elizabeth II said in her broadcast this afternoon, “we should take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return: we will be with our friends again; we will be with our families again; we will meet again.” In the meantime, we need to simply take each day as it comes, look after each other, keep our minds and bodies active, and follow government recommendations to ensure everyone stays safe and healthy.
We may not be in a position to help you with most of the things we’ve all been asked to do (and not do) during this crisis, but we can definitely provide you with the tools to keep yourselves and your families occupied while you’re at home. Whether you want to read, play games, do puzzles, or maybe try your hand at writing the next great Canadian novel, we’ve got you covered! Our doors might be shut, but we’re still committed to keeping you all supplied with the things you need to get through these uncertain times. This means that from Monday to Friday, we’ll be in the store from 10:00am to 4:00pm to take your calls, answer your e-mails, fill your orders, and keep things running smoothly in preparation for the day when we can welcome you back through our doors. We’re trying to keep things as close to “business as usual” as possible, but there are a few special things you should know.
1. All purchases are now being processed by phone and through our online store (https://store.booksonbeechwood.ca/) using credit cards (VISA, MasterCard, or American Express).
2. Customer orders are being shipped out using Purolator. Shipping for a single item order is $13, with an extra $1 tacked on for each additional item ordered.
3. Contact-free store pick-ups using our vestibule are available from Tuesday to Friday between the hours of 11:00am and 3:00pm. Pick-up times are set up one-on-one with individual customers.
4. Contact-free delivery is also available to those with mailboxes and front porches living in the New Edinburgh, Rockcliffe Park, Vanier, Lindenlea, and Manor Park neighbourhoods.
5. We’ll be completely closed on Friday, April 10 for Good Friday.
Since the store is being run by a team of one right now, it might take a day or two for us to respond to your messages, so please don’t despair! Your queries will all get answered! Thank you for being so patient with us as we try to find our footing on this somewhat shaky ground.
As of right now, the wheels of the publishing world are turning normally, and we’re still ordering books and receiving new publications. Although some big releases like Tim Cook‘s forthcoming book The Fight for History and the highly anticipated Rowley Jefferson’s Awesome Friendly Adventure by Jeff Kinney have had their publication dates moved from the spring to the fall, and a couple of smaller publishers have shut down their warehouses temporarily, we’re not seeing too many changes or interruptions to the normal way of things. If things do change in the coming days, weeks, and (dare we say it) months, we’ll be sure to send out an update and post messages on all our social media pages. In the meantime, we’ll be using those same mediums to let you know about great new releases, neat spring arrivals, and staff picks!
One thing we have noticed over the last few weeks is an uptick in puzzle sales. It looks like the jigsaw puzzle is back in a big way and we’re happy to say that while our stock has really been whittled down, we have a few new shipments of puzzles on the way! We’ll get them uploaded into our online store as quickly as possible, but if you live near us and happen to be out for a walk (while observing proper social-distancing), be sure to take a glance at our window to see what designs are up for grabs. If puzzles aren’t really your thing, we also have a good selection of memory games, boardgames, and card games that are sure to keep all age groups in your house riveted for hours!
This may not be our typical kind of newsletter, but we can’t let this moment pass without telling you about at least some of the new books we’ve received over the last couple of weeks and the forthcoming ones we’re looking forward to. Here are a few of the standouts: The Mirror & the Light by Hilary Mantel, A Woman of No Importance by Sonia Purnell, Open House by Jane Christmas, The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel, If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane, Late in the Day by Tessa Hadley, Hike by Pete Oswald, We Are the Wildcats by Siobhan Vivian, 24 Hours in Nowhere by Dusti Bowling, If Only by Kate Eberlen (April 7), The Age of Witches by Louisa Morgan (April 7), Miss Austen by Gill Hornby (April 7), The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix (April 7), Aran by Flora Shedden (April 7), Lovable Felted Animals by Yucoco Cafe (April 7), Stuff Every Tea Lover Should Know by Candace Rose Rardon (April 14), The Big Finish by Brooke Fossey (April 14), Race the Sands by Sarah Beth Durst (April 21), The Villa of Mysteries by David Hewson (April 17), Keep ‘Er Lit by Van Morrison (April 24), Stay Up With Hugo Best by Erin Somers (April 28).
Finally, we want to take this opportunity to thank you all so much for the outpouring of support you’ve given us since we closed up shop on March 19. It’s really incredible how you’ve all rallied around us and our fellow independent shops to keep us going through these strange and uncertain times. While we don’t know what the future holds, we’re going to do our best to hang on through this crisis so we can continue to do this job we love for years to come, and hopefully, we’ll be welcoming you all back into the store before too long!
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay healthy.
— Hilary for The Staff at Books on Beechwood
Our doors are shut, but we’re still ordering books, shipping out orders, orchestrating contact-free pick ups, and delivering packages. Here’s a breakdown of how things are working right now.
Shipping: we’re shipping all parcels via Purolator at a rate of $13 for single item orders with $1 tacked on for each additional item (i.e. shipping for two items would be $14). We can’t do any shipping outside of Canada at this time.
Contact-free Pick-ups: we’re using our vestibule as a contact-free pick-up location for any customers who would like to come by and collect their orders in person. Pick-ups are available from Tuesday to Friday between 11:00am and 3:00pm. Specific pick-up times will be scheduled with customers on a one-on-one basis. If you’re coming to pick up a package, please observe proper social-distancing practices and refrain from entering the vestibule if there is already someone inside.
Delivery: contact-free delivery is available to customers who live near the store in the neighbourhoods of New Edinburgh, Rockcliffe Park, Vanier, Lindenlea, and Manor Park. Deliveries can’t be made to condo or apartment buildings.
Downloadable Audiobooks: If you ever feel like you need to give your eyes a break and want to listen to a book instead of read it, downloadable audiobooks can be purchased through our Libro.fm page (https://libro.fm/?bookstore=beechwood).
Don’t forget that a lot of our neighbours and friends are still in operation to some capacity too! We’ll all need a little help if we’re going to pull through this.
Mood Moss Flowers * Muckleston & Brockwell * Jacobson’s * Nature’s Buzz * Fraser Cafe * Red Door Provisions * Second Cup * So Good * Bibi’s * Ola Cocina * Pet Valu * Epicuria * Bread & Roses * Quelque Chose Patisserie * Idriss Mediterranean * Perfect Books * Octopus Books * Singing Pebble Books
If you missed hearing our Manager, Hilary, on CBC’s The Next Chapter on Saturday, March 28, click here to listen.
What I’m Reading: The Age of Witches by Louisa Morgan
“In tough times, we all tend to gravitate towards the things that comfort us. For me, that’s always been books and stories about witches, magic, and fantasy worlds. This new Louisa Morgan book definitively ticks two of those boxes. Set in Gilded Age New York and London, this novel is every escapist’s dream as it invites you into a magical adventure full of love, deceit, power, and the age-old battle between dark and light magic. Beautifully written and engrossing, I could live in this book forever!”