May 27, 2020 - Economy

Ann Patchett: Bookstores are innovating to stay connected with customers

Head shots of Axios' Dan Primack and author Ann Patchett

Photo: Axios screenshot

Bookstores are trying to keep their relationships with readers despite the coronavirus pandemic, and they've adopted new ways to do so, Ann Patchett, a best-selling author and co-owner of Parnassus Books, a Nashville-based bookstore, said during an Axios digital event.

Why it matters: Tennessee has rolled back its coronavirus restrictions, but Patchett said her bookstore will not physically reopen just yet to avoid a possible spike in cases. Instead, Parnassus will continue expanding its online shopping.

  • The store now offers video book recommendations, which Patchett hopes will maintain the connection between customer and bookseller.
  • For Mother's Day, Parnassus offered book boxes with signed cards from Patchett. She said she signed 250 of them.
  • "We’re trying really hard to be innovative," Patchett said. "Are we still going to be doing this in September? I have no idea."
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