We closed Parnassus Books, the bookstore I co-own in Nashville, on the same day all the stores around us closed. I can’t tell you when that was because I no longer have a relationship with my calendar.

All the days are now officially the same. My business partner Karen and I talked to the staff and told them if they didn’t feel comfortable coming in that was fine. We would continue to pay them for as long as we could. But if they were OK to work in an empty bookstore, we were going to try to keep shipping books.

In the first week we did kerbside delivery, which meant a customer could call the store and tell us what they wanted. We would take their credit card information over the phone and then run the books out to the parking lot and sling them into the open car window. Kerbside delivery seemed like a good idea but the problem was, so many people were calling that the staff wound up clustered around the cash registers, ringing up orders. No good. We reassessed and decided that all books would have to be mailed, even the books that were just going down the street.

We make our plans. We change our plans. We make other plans. This is the new world order

Source: The Guardian

Anne Patchett, writer