St-Henri Books keeps customers well-read with home delivery

Bookstores might not be considered essential businesses by the Quebec government during the COVID-19 pandemic but one operation in St-Henri has found a way to keep going.

St-Henri Books co-owner Alex Nierenhausen said online sales and bicycle delivery is helping to keep his customers well-read.

“We really had to turn around quickly and we are very much a human store, we love our human interactions and face-to-face business so having to switch to an online model was challenging,” he said.

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In an era of e-books and blockbuster best-sellers, Nierenhausen said his store prides itself on offering a curated selection. But the storefront itself is quiet during the crisis.

“People are stuck at home. They want books, they want escapism, they want to bake bread and do hobbies, all the things they never had time to do before,” he said.

Ordered books are wrapped in brown paper, stamped and then packaged with a hand-written thank you note.

“It's cathartic and tactile to find the small success in finishing a book,” said Nierenhausen. “The job of a book is definitely coming back.” 

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