Independent book seller, Flying Books
, who stock the shelves at Good Neighbour (678 Bloor St W + 181 Dovercourt Rd), and The Gladstone Hotel (1214 Queen Street W) with “choosily chosen books”, is now offering an “airdrop” option to accommodate our drastic new (hopefully not for long) quarantine lifestyle. “We’re gratified by the number of people who want to buy from indie booksellers like us during this strange moment in history. The heart swells!” says owner Martha Sharpe.
Sharpe has enjoyed delivering books, especially when requests are made for sweet notes to be included—one woman requested an air drop for her sister and with the note “to the best sister ever”.
The highly curated selection of titles, that all include a concise and clever mini book review by Sharpe, helps customers narrow their choice, but she’s noticed that lately, the biggest in-demand books include “Jenny Odell’s brilliant (and timely) How to Do Nothing, and Kiley Reid’s gripping debut novel, Such a Fun Age.”
While Sharpe is not a pandemic expert (thankfully), she has some literary suggestions to help us pull through this difficult chapter:
“Some people are seeking out books that feature pandemics, like Thea Lim’s amazing page-turner, An Ocean of Minutes. While others are looking to escape to a different time, which is what the new Hilary Mantel book, The Mirror & the Light, offers. I can understand and get behind both impulses. I’ve been dipping into Rebecca Solnit’s stunning new memoir, Recollections of My Nonexistence, and finding her amazing voice reassuring; and I can’t wait to start The Glass Hotel, by Emily St. John Mandel, who, as it happens, also wrote an award-winning pandemic book, Station Eleven. We can’t stare at our screens all day! Books are a balm; they’ll help ease our way through and provide a sense of connection, whether they’re lighter pleasure reads or super literary.”
Want to order a Flying Books air drop? Visit their online store, browse the titles, and purchase with credit card or Apple Pay. “We hand-deliver ourselves after asking our customers to let us know a mutually safe way to get them their books — which sometimes means leaving them in their mailbox, or knocking on their door, leaving the package, and then dashing away before they answer. Everyone has been appreciating these precautions; there’s a lot of good cheer amid what would at any other time seem kind of odd.”
Like all of us, Sharpe hopes life returns to normal, but does admit that being able to connect with the Toronto reading community in during these wild and uncertain times is “nothing short of marvellous.”