Bozeman bookstore survives and thrives after pandemic

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BOZEMAN – After the quarantine, the lockdowns, all in the midst of a pandemic, many people were thirsty for connection; if not in person, then through literature. According to the Association of American Publishers, in 2020, sales of the book in the country increased by 9.7%.

“We were closed for a while… I was lucky, I had previously managed the largest second-hand bookstore in Canada and had built much of their marketplace online,” Medellee said. Antonioli, “So when the pandemic hit here in town, I was fortunate to have 20,000 books online.

“The book never really went anywhere, they said the book was going to die forever. It’s always there because it’s amazing and it’s amazing and it’s beautiful, and it’s an object of beauty and subject… and it’s passion on a page.

Antonioli is the owner of Isle of Books off Huffine Lane in Bozeman and bought the business in June 2019. Before the pandemic, events were planned, expansions were being prepared and hopes were high. After the lockdown was over, Antonioli offered people ‘book pickup’ options, as well as an online shopping method.

“I can’t believe I can do this, I’m fifth generation Montanais and I’m so much of this land and this place, and doing what I love here is always inconceivable to me. So at first I was nervous, but Montana, the community, came together, ”said Antonioli.

Customers stop to buy gift cards for themselves, pick up books, and do what they can to help Isle of Books: the Montanans being Montanans, Antonioli said. Like many businesses, Isle of Books has weathered the ordeals of Covid-19, but online sales have helped fill those gaps.

“It helped us pay our bills and having this diverse customer base got us through it,” said Antonioli. “We still offer ‘drive-through pickup’ for those who are still cautious at this time, and we are happy to welcome you.”

Lately, Antonioli has seen a younger demographic of customers visiting his store, students and teenagers. Usually buy classic books and literature.

“I think the burnout with the technology, the burnout with the screens, has brought people back to reading,” said Antonioli, “The book never really went anywhere, they said the book was going die from infinity It’s always there because it’s amazing and it’s amazing and it’s beautiful, and it’s an object of beauty and subject… and it’s passion on a page.


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