LA’s Skylight Books is in ‘survival mode,’ preps for safe reopening

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Skylight Books in Los Feliz decided not to reopen for curbside pick up today, despite permission from the city and state. Photo credit: Kelly Brown.

Starting today, some California businesses can start reopening. Car dealerships are open for test drives and sales. Stores that sell music, clothes and flowers are open for curbside pickup only. 

But some shops are choosing to remain closed, despite permission to open.

“The dates seem arbitrary,” says Mary Williams, who co-owns and manages Skylight Books in Los Feliz. “They don't always feel tied to strides that we're making as a county to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.”

For now, Williams is focused on rearranging the store so that her 25 employees (who are still on payroll through the Paycheck Protection Program) can get back to work safely.

“We need to make sure our workstations are all six feet apart … so there's going to be a certain amount of moving furniture, running cables, moving computers. … We would just basically be a warehouse space,” she says.

Williams misses the way the store acted as a gathering space for the community to meet friends and see authors. 

“What we're in right now is survival mode for that day when we can go back to some semblance of that reality,” she says.

Credits

Guest:
Mary Williams - general manager of Skylight Books

Host:
Madeleine Brand

Producers:
Sarah Sweeney, Michell Eloy, Amy Ta, Rosalie Atkinson, Brian Hardzinski, Angie Perrin, Kathryn Barnes