Bibliophiles throughout the metro area should rejoice this Saturday, April 24, as Left Bank Books once more welcomes them to browse and buy titles in its bricks-and-mortar retail space in St. Louis’ Central West End neighborhood.
The reopening not only commemorates national Independent Bookstore Day – customarily observed the last Saturday in April – but also concludes a heart-wrenching yearlong hiatus from foot traffic for the much-revered retailer prompted, predictably, by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are thrilled to open our doors to the community we have so missed,” Left Bank co-owner Kris Kleindienst says in a press release. “The generous support and the understanding we received as we navigated uncharted territory last year sustained us. We have great books and gifts and can’t wait to share them with our friends in person!”
As did much of the rest of the nation last March, Left Bank ceased in-store service because of the pandemic. Subsequently, the area landmark perforce pivoted, shifting the focus of its service “to online and phone sales, and we were grateful to receive massive support from our customers during this uncertain time,” the press release states.
To celebrate Independent Bookstore Day, Left Bank will not only resume in-store shopping from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. but also feature “in-store and online special promotions, activities for children and teens, opportunities to purchase exclusive Independent Bookstore Day merchandise and an evening online poetry event,” according to the press release.
Special promotions for Saturday’s event include free shipping on online orders when a customer spends $75 or more, a free tote for in-store customers who spend $50 or more and a free “blind date with a book” with a minimum in-person $5 donation to the nonprofit Left Bank Books Foundation (“all while supplies last,” the press release adds).
Also, exclusive Independent Bookstore Day merchandise will be available only for in-store purchase during the event, with unsold items available for purchase online after 6 p.m. The press release cautions: “Quantities are limited and first come, first served. No holds or pre-orders are possible.”
For customers, the celebration will include such by-now-typical health-related precautionary protocols as wearing a mask, using hand sanitizer and maintaining social distancing. Also, Left Bank will limit occupancy in the store to 15 customers at a time.
After Independent Bookstore Day, Left Bank will continue to welcome foot traffic Mondays through Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Going forward, curbside pickup, shipping and home delivery also will all continue, with customers still able to order through Left Bank’s website and by phone.
For details on Left Bank’s Independent Bookstore Day activities and other events, visit left-bank.com/event.
Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid Ave., St Louis, 314-367-6731, left-bank.com