This Week in Indie Bookstores


Layoffs at bookstores continue as the COVID-19 pandemic worsens, and some predictions suggest the nation will see a 30% unemployment rate.

With bookstores forced to cancel events, debut authors are finding new ways of promoting books, and many book events are moving online. Check out Notable Online, our new weekly column listing online literary events.

As New York State’s PAUSE goes into effect, shutting down all non-essential businesses, booksellers make a plea that they are, in fact, essential.

Most New York City bookstores had moved to curbside pickup or shipping online orders, which are also now banned, meaning Governor Cuomo won’t be able to read Daniel Defoe’s A Journal of the Plague Year, which contains good advice on dealing with pandemic.

Here is a good argument on why bookstores should be deemed essential.

Bookstores in Boston are still offering curbside pickup.

Bookstores in Washington also continue to offer curbside pickup.

This new Chicago bookstore opened its doors just two days before closing because of COVID-19.

Amazon has banned the sale of most copies of Mein Kampf.

Surprising perhaps nobody, Independent Bookstore Day has been postponed.

A Singapore bookstore chain has closed all 16 locations in Hong Kong.

Ian MacAllen is the author of Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American (Rowman & Littlefield, April 2022). His writing has appeared in Chicago Review of Books, Southern Review of Books, The Offing, 45th Parallel Magazine, Little Fiction, Vol 1. Brooklyn, and elsewhere. He tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at More from this author →