My heart goes out to everyone trying to rebuild after Hurricane Sandy but I wanted to take a moment to call special attention to the bookstores that suffered some incredible losses, rows of books standing no chance against walls of water as high as 14-feet in some areas.
Shelf Awareness published updates from a number of stores in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont and Delaware yesterday that were already pulling themselves together and doing everything they could to open up as soon as possible. During the storm, people shared news updates, as well as storm-themed reading choices under the hashtag #sandyreads.
A few excerpts: In Manhattan, McNally Jackson Booksellers offered reassuring words on Twitter: “We’re okay! No power, but also no water. We’ll be slinging books again in no time.” Housing Works Books was still assessing the situation, tweeting: “CLOSED today; our Internetz will be pretty quiet. No word yet on how the store fared–if you’re nearby, SAFELY take a peek & let me know?” A later update offered good news: “Just got word that the bookstore is power-less but no damage! We’ll be closed tomorrow, but that’s great news. Thanks everyone, stay safe.” The Strand Bookstore said that “as of right now, the store remains closed. Hopefully we’ll be back up and running (with power) soon!”
Brooklyn bookstore powerHouse Arena didn’t fair as well as some, being one of the stores that took on nearly 14 feet of water. CEO Daniel Power was quoted saying “Books were overturned and floating around inside, and a disproportionate amount of holiday merchandise was destroyed.”
But according to Publishers Weekly, powerHouse is already making plans for getting back on its feet, and it’s looking for help from the publishing community. On November 17 from 12-8 pm at the store, located at 37 Main Street, they’ll hold a book fair, complete with a lineup of New York writers, refreshments, and a live band to go along with the books for sale. “Our fundraiser plans are an attempt both to try and recoup major losses and to galvanize support from neighbors, suppliers, publishers, and writers who have offered their help during this difficult time,” said Power.
Publishers that would like to donate or learn more about how to help can contact Julie Buntin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’m sincerely hoping “my people” take a moment to remember who fuels their bestsellers lists and they do whatever they can to help these community stores get back on their feet.