How to Support Local Bookstores During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Support your neighborhood bookseller with online ordering, curbside pickup and free local delivery.
Befunky Collage

Nature’s Wonderland is available at Paper Nautilus in Providence.

PROVIDENCE AREA
Books on the Square
471 Angell St., Providence, 401-331-9097, booksq.com
While this Wayland Square shop is still open to the public (social distancing precautions and regular disinfecting procedures are in place), customers can browse a great selection of adult bestsellers and new releases, children’s books and 2019 top-ten books online. You can place orders online or call for free curbside pickup, free local delivery on Thursdays and free media mail delivery. Don’t miss the online gallery of staff picks with reviews written by Books on the Square booksellers.

Cellar Stories
111 Mathewson St., Providence, 401-521-2665, cellarstories.com
The state’s largest used bookstore has been mastering its online selling practice for years. The shop has officially closed to protect staff and customers from the spread of the coronavirus, but, just like the shop, the webstore is a rabbit’s hole of unusual finds. Browse an incredible selection of comics, children’s books, fiction — all helpfully categorized by genre. Shipping is free in Rhode Island and $2 outside of the state; call or place your order online.

Lovecraft Arts and Sciences Council
65 Weybosset St., Unit 105, Providence, 401-264-0838, lovecraft@necronomicon-providence.com, weirdprovidence.org
If you miss browsing, Providence’s home for weird fiction, mythologies, the occult and other peculiar subjects is offering digital browsing via Facebook. The shop currently has Facebook video tours of its shelves and display tables, including top-sellers and books for younger cultists. The brick-and-mortar is closed, but your hunt for oddities has only just begun. Email for pricing and a shop employee will send you a link for purchase.

Paper Nautilus Books
19 South Angell St., Providence, 401-521-5533, info@papernautilusbooks.com, papernautilusbooks.com
One of the first things we’ll do after the pandemic is over: Browse for an hour at Paper Nautilus. Until then, we’ll scroll through the Facebook page for special selections from the stacks, including a gorgeous four-volume illustrated Nature’s Wonderland posted earlier this week. The shop is offering free curbside pickup, local delivery and $2 shipping, even for the big books. Just call or email to place an order.

Riffraff
60 Valley St., Unit 107A, Providence, 401-421-4371, info@riffraffpvd.com, riffraffpvd.com
Another thing we’re looking forward to: a drink and a new book at the bar at Riffraff. Until then, browse the Facebook page for staff picks or visit the website for shirts, totes and gift cards. The shop is taking a slightly analog approach: If you have a book in mind or are looking for a recommendation, call or email. Orders will be hand-delivered to Providence residents; orders outside of Providence are shipped the same day for $4. Riffraff also partners with Libro.fm, which lets customers  purchase audio books from local bookstores. Libro.fm is currently running a two-for-one promotion; buy a membership for $14.99 with code SHOPBOOKSTORENOW and 100 percent of the payment will go to Riffraff.

Symposium Books
240 Westminster St, Providence, 401-273-7900, symposiumbooks.com
Our favorite spot to shop for bargain reads, Symposium has been steadily adding books, vinyl, greeting cards, magnets and more to its website ordering platform while the store is closed. Bibliophiles will especially appreciate the “buy ten, get two free” deal (and the “bibliophile” book bag). “Might as well fill the box,” as the website says. Hear, hear! All orders over $35 ship free.

Twenty Stories
107 Ives St., Providence, 401-216-7380, twentystoriesla.com
In what might be the most innovative approach in the state, Twenty Stories is launching the virtual reading series, Saturday Night Stories, at 9 p.m. on March 28. Five authors will read from their latest works via Instagram Live @twentystoriesla. According to a post on Twenty Stories’ Facebook page, “All participating authors’ books are available for sale on our website, and anyone who purchases a book during the event will receive an invitation to the after-party on Zoom, where they can meet and talk with that evening’s lineup of readers. The Zoom party is hosted by Andrew Altschul, the editors of ZYZZYVA, and us here at Twenty Stories!” The website also features a carefully curated selection of books that represent a diverse list of authors, themes and publishers, all available for online ordering and shipping.

 

EAST BAY
Barrington Books
184 County Rd., ​Barrington, 401-245-7925; 176 Hillside Rd., ​Cranston, 401-432-7222, barringtonbooks.com
Books are in the name, but these shops offer so much more. Toys and gifts are also available for purchase on the website (Elizabeth Warren action figure, anyone?). The shops, which are currently open but operating on a reduced schedule, will ship online orders and offer curbside pickup, too.

Inkfish Books
488 Main St., Warren, 401-368-6827, info@inkfishbooks.com, inkfishbooks.com
You can do it all through Inkfish Books: Order bestsellers, games and gifts (or e-books from partner site papertrell.com). Curbside pickup and delivery in Warren is available, and the shop is offering free shipping, as well. Customers are encouraged to call, text or email orders — or order a selection of bestsellers directly on the website — and personal shopping services are also available.

 

SOUTH COUNTY
The Collective
1220 Kingstown Rd., Peace Dale, thecollective401@gmail.com, thecollective401.com
The bookstore and lending library is closed to the public, but the Collective’s website is loaded with books for advocacy-minded readers, including Field Notes on Democracy, The Apocalypse of Settler Colonialism and Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements. Check out the Earth Day raffle with books, a weekly calendar, leaf notepads, a postcard set and other Earth-minded goodies. Place your order online for shipping.

Savoy Bookshop and Cafe
10 Canal St., Westerly, 401-213-3901, savoy@mysticbooksinc.com, banksquarebooks.com
The shop is closed until further notice, but you can still browse online and take advantage of free media mail shipping, curbside pickup between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. and local delivery after 2 p.m. You can also order over the phone but the shop requests that all orders be prepaid to reduce the spread of germs. Savoy also participates in Libro.fm‘s audiobook partnership.

Wakefield Books
60 Old Tower Hill Rd., Wakefield, 401-792-0000, wakefieldbooks.com
Wakefield Books is closed to the public, but a robust offering of books is available on the website, including new releases. Best-sellers are also offered at 30 percent off. Order books online or reserve them via phone for curbside pickup. All phone and online orders ship free.

 

NEWPORT COUNTY
Island Books
575 East Main Rd., Middletown, 401-849-2665, islandbooksri.indielite.org
Island Books is closed until further notice, but the shop is offering parking lot pickup, Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., for phone orders of books, puzzles and games. Online ordering is also available for hardcover fiction and non-fiction, trade paperback and children’s books listed on the website. After 3 p.m., shop employees will make free front-door deliveries locally and ship orders via half-price priority mail or free media mail nationwide.

 

BLACKSTONE VALLEY
Stillwater Books
175 Main St., Pawtucket, 401-475-1979, info@stillwaterpress.com, stillwaterbooksri.com
Blackstone Valley’s newest bookstore is still open and welcoming visitors. But for folks who’d rather order online, the website offers the shop’s entire book inventory so you can browse from  home. Just visit the “book buying” page and see a complete, categorized list of the shop’s selection of high-quality used and remaindered books, including fiction, children’s books, graphic novels, cookbooks and poetry. Orders ship via USPS, but curbside pickup and local delivery is also available.

 

JUST OVER THE BORDER
An Unlikely Story, 111 South St., Plainville, 508-699-0244, anunlikelystory.com
This destination bookshop is closed, but readers can still browse online for staff picks and bestsellers or call in orders via phone for standard shipping. The shop is perhaps best-known for its events, and several will be offered virtually, including a Facebook Live trivia session hosted by Patrick Kinney and a virtual reading with author Veronica Roth of the Divergent series.

 

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