For Bookstore Owners, Reopening Holds Promise and Peril

For Bookstore Owners, Reopening Holds Promise and Peril

Last fall, Kyle Hall’s bookstore was destroyed by a tornado. This spring, it was almost wiped out by a pandemic.

For the past two months, ever since Texas ordered nonessential businesses to shut down, Mr. Hall, the manager and co-owner of Interabang Books in Dallas, has taken one unprecedented step after another to keep the store open. In March, Interabang transformed from a brick-and-mortar shop into an online retail business. When the stay-at-home order was lifted at the end of April, it became a curbside takeout operation. Staff members redesigned the storefront display, cramming 100 titles in the window so that customers could browse at a safe distance.

“We called it the bookstore bakery case,” Mr. Hall said. “That was strange, but in a week we got used to it.”

Then the…



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