The COVID pandemic shuttered local bookstores throughout the country. According to the New York Times, more than one independent bookstore has permanently closed each week since the pandemic began. Those stores aren’t coming back.
In New England there are well over 100 independent bookstores. COVID has put some of them out of business. Fortunately, most local bookstores in New England re-opened toward the end of the summer. But health and safety protocols severely limit the number of customers allowed in the stores. Meantime, Amazon’s business has boomed.
The inability to do in-store book signings has hurt stores. And it’s been a big disappointment for authors. Instead, we’ve all been doing virtual book signings. I did more than a dozen of those after the publication of The Dynasty back in September.
But today I’m announcing an in-person book tour through New England. Starting tomorrow at Bookery Manchester in Manchester, New Hampshire, I will be trekking through the New England states to sign books at stores from Westerly, Rhode Island to Newburyport, Massachusetts. Here are the tour dates:
To remain in compliance with COVID protocols, I will be doing all of these signings OUTSIDE. That’s right, I will be set up on the sidewalk or under a tent or under an awning. I will be masked. And all people who attend these signings will be required to wear a mask as well.
There’s a good chance that there could be snow on the ground in Manchester Center, Vermont, when I visit Northshire Bookstore on December 5th. And it is sure to be cold when I visit Bank Square Books in Mystic, Connecticut, on December 6th.
But my book is about the New England Patriots, a team that plays its best football in wintry weather. New Englanders take pride in the fact that the snowy, cold weather is part of the territory. So I am looking forward to bundling up and bringing along a thermos of hot chocolate and a thermos of chicken noodle soup.
If you live in New England and you love the Patriots, I hope you’ll join me and support your local bookstore. Let’s give them the business.