What a crazy course of events we’ve witnessed! We hope you and your loved ones have stayed safe and in good health (and good humour)!
Long write-up alert! (In brief, we are not opening right away, because our library is next to a containment zone, but we are planning the best way forward and we have some happy news for you).
Now, as you may know, we closed Trilogy Library and Bookstore since March 15, 2020 as a safety precaution during the Covid-19 pandemic. We had decided to reopen when government regulations and the local authorities allow us to function, assuming that that would happen when the crisis peaks and is on its way down. However, our library is next to a containment zone, and our friends in the medical community are advising further caution, for some time more. Meethil and I have always relied on the good, solid scientific advice that the medical experts (and the authors we respect such as David Quammen, Atul Gawande, and Siddharth Mukherjee) have been sharing through the pandemic and we believe this is the right(est) way forward.
Meethil and I started Trilogy, to make the bookshop and library that readers would love to browse in, and have conversations in. This interaction will have to be on hold for a while, our priority now is to ensure that when we do reopen, our members, bookshop patrons, staff, the warehouse staff that visit us with books, publishers representatives, and very importantly our neighbours and our parents, are as safe as possible, and have a minimum risk of infection as a result of our activities. We sincerely apologise for being slow about the opening of the shop and for the inconveniences caused, but we hope you understand.
We now accept that some parts of our operations will have to go online – this will always be supplemented by us being reachable via email, whatsapp and phone to give you a similar experience as you have had before at the store/library. Ahalya would love to help you find books, and Meethil will as usual make all those phone calls to get the books you need, as soon as the supply chain is restored. The actual delivery and exchange of library books will have to be done via a delivery partner, or if you or your family member or support staff do step out i.e. curbside pickups. We will work out all these details before we reopen and share details with you about the way forward in the new normal. We are creating a more robust, interactive website, that will also allow us to share news about new books, news from our favourite authors and publishers.
And talking about news, I do have some news, Trilogy is part of a new association for independently owned bookshops in India! The IBAI (Independent Bookshops Association of India), and we are one of the six founders of this splendid association (if I may say so myself!).
This has been by far, the only good thing to come out of the lockdown (and that I’ve finally learnt how to make my mom’s sambar powder). Let me introduce you to our five fellow bookshop friends : Raman Shresta from Rachna books, a bookshop cafe and B&B from Gangtok (you must visit, eventually!!!), The Dogears Bookshop from Goa, run by husband and wife Leonard and Queenie Fernandes and their little baby boss Eleanor, the wonderful Diviya Kapur who started Literati in Calangute Goa, and has made such an impact in the global community of booksellers, Mayura and Aman Misra (mum and son) who run Storyteller in Kolkata, and husband and wife duo Vishal Pipraiya and Neha Tewari, who love backpacking, and set up Pune’s much loved bookstore and cafe, Pagdandi.
We’ve all known of each other and have shared news and resources through the years, but during the lockdown, we got the time to really talk to each other and arrive at solutions. IBAI is that solution, and I have to tell you this, you inspired this. The reader. Honestly, I’m not just saying this, it’s because of readers that we can do what we love. It’s because you place your trust in us, make the time to visit, ask us how we are, wait for us to get the books for you (sometimes it takes weeks), and because you see that we try hard and you allow us that space. Thank you. I need to tell you that all us bookshop owners feel this gratitude. We love that you love what we do. It keeps us running.
The association is getting a lot of press, and we are slowly being connected to bookshops from all around the country. Very soon, readers can look up the indie bookshop directory and find one closest to them, and send them their orders! The bookshops already in the association have already started helping each other fulfill orders, Bookshop A sends a book to Bookshop B’s customer while the suppliers are shut and the postal service is the only thing that’s on. This is big for indies like us!
Well, that’s all I have for now.
Please join our WhatsApp broadcast (if you haven’t already) by saving 9004444369 on your phone, and sending us a message with your name, to know when we will resume physical operations. We will also be updating our social media. We are on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter at @teltrilogy. Thank you really, for your patience and support, we really miss being in the shop and meeting you.
Please take care and be safe.