We haven’t given you an update for a while as we were sure you would all have enough on your plates and in this Brave New World we didn’t want to bombard you. However, we thought it was time for another newsletter to keep you abreast of all things Bookbugs.
All being well, it looks like we will be able to re-open the shop on Tuesday 16th June. We have been working hard to make sure that this is as safe as possible but also to ensure that it’s not scary or too strange for our favourite little (and big) customers. See below for how we will be doing this. We understand that some people will not feel able to venture out just yet so we will be continuing with our online ordering and free local delivery service as well. Check out the revamped website at www.bookbugsanddragontales.com.
Revised Opening Hours Initially we will be having reduced shop opening hours to enable us to do all the ‘behind the scenes’ stuff and not get in the way. The revised opening times will be –
Tuesday – Saturday from 10am – 2.30pm
From 2.30 – 4pm each day, you are very welcome to book a 15 minute slot for you and your household to have the whole shop to yourselves! We hope that by doing this we will be able to offer a more personal service without the worry of others. There is no obligation to buy if you wish to book a slot – the shop needs its people and I think in some small way the people need its shop. If you wish to book this bookshop experience, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your preferred date and time and we will get back to you.
Obviously our first priority when reopening will be your safety and that of the staff. The shop will look a little different (but not too much we hope) on 16th June. We have sneeze guards installed in the till area and staff on the shop floor will be wearing facemasks and face-shields. We have decorated these to make them more child-friendly.
We will also have a large Snakes and Ladders type board on the floor, with each square 2 metres, to make social distancing a little easier for small ones because games are fun and rules are not! There will also be a one way system in operation and we will be limiting the number of people in the shop. Don’t worry though – we plan to make queuing fun too! We have always been very passionate about people being able to touch the books and have a little read and while some shops are limiting this, we would like to allow this to continue.
However, the only way we can do this safely is to request that you hand sanitise and wear gloves provided by us (we even have little ones!) By us providing gloves when you arrive and disposing of them with us as you leave, we can ensure that outside contamination is limited. If you do not wish to do this, we would need to request that you do not handle books you are not intending to purchase. The shop surfaces, books and floors will be regularly and thoroughly cleaned.
While we are unable to minimise all risk, we hope that you understand that by undertaking these measures we are doing all we can to allow a sense of normality to return and try to breathe life back into the beautiful community space we have all created together. We really appreciate your support and if we make mistakes, let us know!
It looks like it may be quite some time before we are able to resume our classes as normal and that’s really sad for us! We love watching your babies and toddlers being creative and we have missed them enormously. I apologise to the many parents who have received a delivery and I have insisted they press their (usually baffled!) children to the window so I can see them! We will be following all guidelines and as soon as it is safe to do so, these will be returning with gusto and even more creative thinking. In the meantime Mini Moons Drama are running online classes, Grace Wellbeing is doing Mindful Mondays and we will be continuing our daily Storytime’s on Facebook Live at 1pm and 5pm until the shop reopens.
Exciting Promotions and Events
Penguin Classics Promotion– We have worked with Penguin to find ways to help Independent bookshops with their instore and online offering and are currently running a 10% off promotion on Penguin Classics. As an added bonus, anyone buying one of the promotional books between now and the end of June will be entered into a draw to win a super classy Penguin The Great Gatsby tote bag worth £12.95.
Independent Bookshop Week – This annual celebration will be 20th – 27th June and usually bookshops run a variety of instore activities to mark this. This year will be a little different but we intend to celebrate with outdoor events, author videos, signed stock, author and illustrator virtual events, launches, storytimes, draw-alongs, quizzes and other virtual events. We hope that we will have lots of things to keep you entertained and will update again when we have more things confirmed.
High Five for Bookshops – In conjunction with National Booktokens, we will be giving away 100 £5 vouchers to our wonderful customers to say thank you for all of the support you have given us during this strange time. We are still working out the details but will keep you posted!
Adult Escape Packs – We are offering Adult Escape Packs to help you through lockdown and beyond. Each pack costs £20 and contains 2 books (based on others you have enjoyed), relaxing treats and mindful activities from Grace Wellbeing. Perfect for treating yourself or as a lockdown gift, you can order through the website under Bookpacks.
Zoom Bookclub The Zoom Bookclub continues to be an absolute highlight so thanks to all who attend. It’s always loads of fun and it’s great to see all of the faces we miss so much. The Five by Hallie Rubenhold was very well received and scored very highly. We are taking things a bit slower this month with Leonard and Hungry Paul by Ronan Hession. We are meeting at 7.30 on Thursday 11th June and if you would like to join, email email@example.com
Shop Front Upgrade In case you haven’t seen it all over social media, we have taken this lockdown time to give the front of the shop an upgrade. No more chipped paint and leaking fascias, the shop is all sparkly and lovely and waiting for your return.
Once again, THANK YOU! At the start of this all, we didn’t dare to think that our small business would be able to survive but thanks to you all, we are still here. We know that things are far from over and that times will continue to be tough for all of us for a while, but your kindness, encouragement and support has made us feel so valued. I have shed tears over the kind emails, wonderful cards and drawings and social media comments. They really have made a difference. Supporters of Bookbugs and Dragon Tales, you are extraordinary and together we have created a very special place.