Russell Books is still taking orders, despite COVID-19 pandmeic. (Black Press Media file photo)

Victoria business still busy as people turn to books while in self-isolation

Russell Books says certain genres have gained popularity during COVID-19

Russell Books is one establishment that is still keeping busy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Co-owner Andrea Minter just got off the phone with a puzzle distributor on Friday morning and secured a last batch of products before there could be a wait.

“That company is running out of stock and will be out of puzzles for months,” she said. “We’re just getting tonnes of orders for puzzles.”

Russell Books is a downtown Victoria staple now operating in a unique way, taking orders from people looking for a good read or some entertainment during self-isolation while keeping doors closed. The orders have been consistent, Minter said, keeping the handful of remaining staff busy with emails and phone calls.

ALSO READ: Many businesses can still carry on, B.C. COVID-19 doctor says

More than 50 staff members were let go due to the COVID-19 pandemic, just one of the many tasks Minter had to tackle after she and her family were recalled from their vacation in Hawaii before borders closed.

Now in self-isolation for two weeks, Minter has been coordinating her business from home.

When people place orders for books and puzzles they pay over the phone or online before staff members give them a window to pick up their products. Customers wait outside and staff hand the books through the front door. People can also pay for shipment and have items delivered to their door.

“It’s working really well,” Minter said. “It’s really quite simple, quite easy.”

ALSO READ: VicPD thanks health care workers with 15-car salute

Some of the most popular reads are children’s education books, as well as books on spirituality and cooking.

“I think people are looking to spirituality for some self comfort and ease in these times,” Minter said. “And I think parents are still trying to keep their kids educated with the schools closed.”

Minter said that her family has certainly enjoyed having a little more time together to sit down and read, and suspects other families have, too.

“It helps bond your family together, and maybe people don’t always get to do that,” she said. “That’s got to be something good from all this.”

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook, send a Tweet to @NicoleCrescenzi
and follow us on Instagram

BooksCoronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pandemic spurs egg-citement for backyard chickens in Greater Victoria

Fowl surge in popularity during COVID-19 pandemic

Saanich looks at allowing alcohol in parks after North Vancouver gives the green light

Bylaw allowing liquor in parks ‘a very positive idea,’ mayor says

Pandemic profiles: Passion at the heart of community businesses

Businesses rely on community support to stay open

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe comapaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

Organizer, Victoria councillor, VicPD talk about upcoming rally for Black lives

‘It’s a simple ask’: Peace rally for Black lives organizer asks people to listen

Trudeau offers $14B to provinces for anti-COVID-19 efforts through rest of year

Making a difference in municipalities is a pricey proposition

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

‘Alarmed’: Health critic calls for more data on COVID-19 in trucking industry

Saskatchewan, Ontario and Quebec said that level of detail is not being collected

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Kelowna Mountie who punched suspect identified, condemned by sister

‘How did he get away with this? How is this justifiable?’

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

Most Read