Dear beloved booklovers and supporters of Humpty Dumpty Books,
As of Friday, March 20th, we, and the entire Kids Market, closed our doors indefinitely so we could do our part in mitigating the spread of Covid-19.
What an emotional rollercoaster it's been. Each day last week I found myself faced with business decisions I'd never thought to think about as a young business owner. I felt confused, scared, frustrated, sad... It was devastating to have to lay off our staff - the wonderful, beautiful individuals who've contributed so much to making our bookstore so unique and special. Not being able to see and connect with fellow booklovers in the context of our shop has also been a huge and difficult adjustment.
On the upside, I really felt the love and care of our many regulars, and fellow Kids Market tenants and staffers during the last days we were open. Many of you came by out of your way to check in on me and Aimee and Bryn to ask how we were doing. We shared joy, thoughts, and laughs about our favourite books, writers, and artists. We were able to share our burdens of worry, fear, and uncertainty, all while holding back from the urge to hug. It is such a comfort to know that I am not alone in this - that none of us are. For this I am deeply grateful - thank you.
Despite the challenges now and all the big emotions I'm still currently feeling, thinking of our staff and customers is helping me focus on what I can do now to ensure our people have a workplace to come back to, to ensure we can continue to serve readers by offering beautiful, diverse, heartfelt books you can't easily find elsewhere.
We have always focussed on in-store service rather than online sales because of the frank reality that a small brick and mortar business cannot compete in price with giants like Chapters and Amazon. But over the years I have learned that our customers return to our bookstore for the quality of our selection, excellent service, and the element of surprise. It is always magical to see the delight in customers faces when they stumble across the works of Mohsin Hamid, Noam Chomsky, Audre Lorde, Gary Larson, a book of poetry in Scottish Gaelic, books in French, Spanish, Japanese, Tagalog... It has been heartening too to see the collective consciousness awakening to the value of small businesses like ours powered by real passion, sweat, and love for our craft, rather than algorithms, exploitation, and the bottom line.