Even in face of COVID-19 reading in Catania is still as enjoyable and convenient as ever

During the days of #Istayhome, a few bookshops of Catania are responding to the Coronavirus emergency with optimism and generosity. “LibroLesto (quick book) is a home delivery service first conceived for those who cannot come to our shops”, told Maria Carmela and Angelica Sciacca, sisters and owners of Vicolo Stretto and Prampolini libraries. The precautionary measures imposed by the coronavirus emergency have now pushed Italian booksellers to increase the service: “The project ‒ they added ‒ was born two years ago. In the light of the current difficult situation and in agreement with our colleagues of northern Italy, we had the idea to make the home delivery service temporarily free”. (Ed. The service is ongoing and complies with the latest directives from the goverment)

BOOKS TO HOME. “Now people don’t go outside, and we hope that they haven’t lost their desire to read ‒ says Maria Carmela ‒. Therefore, we have decided to fulfill orders from the city of Catania during March and April, free of charge. Those living in suburban areas will be charged a small amount to cover fuel costs”. Not limited to Catania and its suburbs, the service has also an international reach. The orders from abroad, according to the two booksellers, are plentyful: “Customers call us from London, Switzerland, Amsterdam. I believe they are Italians living abroad who, during this difficult time, choose to support local enterprises like ours rather than shopping on big online platforms”.

WE START FROM HERE. “Our businesses are suffering because of the emergency. The closure of schools and universities has certainly had a negative influence for their closeness to the library, but customers resist”, told Maria Carmela. “Those who came here (before the last decree, Ed.) ‒ added the bookseller ‒ would look at me as if they were seeking comfort. I am an extremely positive person and I think that great opportunities can arise from crises: maybe after this bad moment, we will revalue the beauty of shopping in your neighborhood rather than online”.

Translated by Daniela Marsala