Fully a quarter of the country’s 900 or so small bookshops have stopped trading since March, and while many hope to reopen, the livelihoods of those who own and run them will have collapsed.
Those shops that have remained in business have had to turn, ironically, to the internet, whose impersonal and often anti-social retailers their presence was supposed to counterbalance.
Not only bookshops but all small businesses are the backbone of our high streets, and always have been. Yet without the deep pockets of larger retailers, and with business models that were in many cases already fragile, they have been among the worst hit by the shutdown.
What they do have is boundless resourcefulness and creativity. Let us hope that it will be enough.