Italy has been completely ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic, but that is not going to stop their bookstores from reopening this week. Some shops will open at later dates, most notably in Lombardy and Piedmont. Bookstores in Rome will not open until the end of the month.
Ricardo Franco Levi, president of the Italian Publishers Association, issued a statement to say re-opening bookshops marked “a first step” in a return to normality for the world of books, and aid to support publishers and booksellers would be indispensable.
In order for the bookstores to remain open, only a certain number of people will be allowed to be inside at any given time and social distancing practices will be in place.
Not all bookstores are happy about reopening during the pandemic. 247 bookshop owners across Italy who signed a petition gathered by LED, an online platform for booksellers and publishers, against being permitted to reopen their stores.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.