- Title: Australian bookstore peddles books to those in isolation for free
- Date: 24th March 2020
- Summary: SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA (MARCH 24, 2020) (REUTERS) GLEEBOOKS CYCLIST NERIDA ROSS PACKING BOOKS INTO TRAVEL BAG ROSS LEAVING BOOK STORE ROSS CLIPPING HELMET ON ROSS CYCLING OFF VARIOUS OF ROSS CYCLING ON STREETS ROSS ARRIVING AT HOUSE TO DELIVER BOOKS (SOUNDBITE) (English) GLEEBOOKS CYCLIST NERIDA ROSS, SAYING: "I think books are a nice way of travelling without having to go anywhere. So it also, I think a lot of people have been using this -- a lot of people I know who have been working from home, have been using the time that they aren't commuting to read more or talk to friends or be creative in some way. Like lots of cooking and things like that. So I think yeah we're learning a new way of being and I think reading is a really big part of that for people." ROSS CARRYING TRAVEL BAG TO FRONT DOORSTEP AND UNPACKING BOOKS FOR DELIVERY EXTERIOR OF GLEEBOOKS INTERIOR OF GLEEBOOKS VARIOUS OF GLEEBOOKS EVENT MANAGER JAMES ROSS STACKING SHELVES (SOUNDBITE) (English) GLEEBOOKS EVENT MANAGER JAMES ROSS, SAYING: "We realised we needed to make it as easy as possible for people to get their books without exposing themselves to any sort of risk. So over that weekend we thought a lot, we brainstormed, and we realised that the best way to do that was just by kind of like, cutting down any of the barriers that would prevent people from ordering online and distancing themselves that way." GLEEBOOKS WORKER AT COMPUTER SURROUNDED BY BOOKS BOOKS (SOUNDBITE) (English) GLEEBOOKS EVENT MANAGER JAMES ROSS SAYING: "Books are a refuge. I think everyone I've spoken to has talked about how having that amount of time to themselves means that they need a place they can go that is comforting, but is also stimulating. In terms of social interaction being more limited, and it's really important that we can get those sorts of exchanges in you know, your personal space and so I think yeah, books are really important and valuable for that reason." VARIOUS OF GLEEBOOKS WORKER PACKING DELIVERIES INTO POSTAGE BAGS (SOUNDBITE) (English) GLEEBOOKS EVENT MANAGER JAMES ROSS SAYING: "We have seen a significant drop off in terms of foot traffic which is probably good, and consequentially we've seen a huge increase in terms of our online orders. It's part of the reason that we've offered free postage and it's been really enthusiastically taken up by the community, so that's great." VARIOUS OF WORKERS PREPARING BOOKS FOR DELIVERY (SOUNDBITE) (English) GLEEBOOKS CYCLIST NERIDA ROSS SAYING: "I think people are really grateful. I think there's a lot of anxiety. People are pretty uncertain and so being able to receive something without having to leave their houses, they're just really grateful to still be able to access the things that give them joy but not having to leave the house." VARIOUS OF ROSS CYCLING ON ROAD ROSS CYCLING BACK TO GLEEBOOKS, ENTERING WITH TRAVEL BAG
- Keywords: Australia books bookstore coronavirus delivery outbreak pandemic
- Reuters ID: LVA001C6ET5QF
- Location: SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
- City: SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA
- Country: Australia
- Duration: 00:05:08
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Topics: Health/Medicine
- Story Text:As most shopping comes to a halt under shutdown rules meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus, an Australian bookstore is getting its goods out by bicycle to readers in quarantine or reluctant to leave their homes.
Nerida Ross, the store's cyclist, said books offered an escape for those cooped up at home.
"Books are a nice way of travelling without having to go anywhere," she said.
Gleebooks, which has been running a brick-and-mortar shop in central Sydney for 40 years, said it decided to make its online service free when the government limited public gatherings to curb the spread of the illness that has infected nearly 2,000 people and killed eight in Australia.
From Monday (March 23), the restrictions went a step further when the government ordered all retailers to shut except for grocery stores, pharmacists and others deemed essential.
Whether that included Gleebooks was unclear but customers will get their books regardless, its managers decided, with the introduction of free drop-offs in surrounding suburbs.
For customers outside the store's bike-determined radius, Gleebooks cut postage fees for orders over A$50 ($30 approx.).
The store's event manager James Ross told Reuters on Tuesday (March 24) that customers have embraced the service, with an immediate spike in online sales. The demand for craft and children's activity books had risen, not surprisingly given that many schools have closed.
(Production: Cordelia Hsu, James Redmayne)
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