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Midtown Reader delivery service keeps bookworms entertained, provides jobs for community

Posted at 5:46 PM, Jun 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-29 17:46:56-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — A local bookstore is getting a boost in business thanks to an innovative idea that's going to the extra mile to help families through the pandemic.

Lucy Smith works at Midtown Reader, a locally owned book shop in Tallahassee. When the pandemic hit and people across the country were losing jobs, she took the business on the road.

"When I heard that delivery was happening, I really jumped on that," said Smith.

To keep up with the demand for reading, the shop, owned by Sally Bradshaw, started taking orders for delivery.

"Like most small businesses, in the midst of COVID we had to get creative to get goods in the hands of our customers," Bradshaw said.

So they re-purposed an electric car that used to deliver baby chicks from farm to post office.

"It really took off," said Bradshaw. "The growth of our delivery has given us an opportunity to go into a new area."

Delivery service also helped provide jobs for people like Smith.

"We started delivery the third week of March and we've seen, knock on wood, significant growth in our business," Bradshaw said.

While Bradshaw couldn't give an exact dollar amount for business growth, she did say they're now delivering up to 10 books a day.

"We're in a great community where people love learning and love reading," said Bradshaw.

Reading from the comfort of their home to escape the stress of the pandemic.

"Since I can deliver to them, it takes a lot of weight off their shoulders," Bradshaw said.

They're open for browsing in-person again, five days a week, allowing five customers in the store at a time, with masks. You can also browse by appointment on Mondays.

Midtown Reader is also crowd-sourcing a name for their delivery vehicle. You can submit your idea for a name by clicking here.