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reading la peste

Mask policy of this mid-September moment!

Yes, covid is out there–but it seems much less impactful than it’s been, at least for those without issues that require extra precautions. A mask is never a bad idea if you’re uncertain, and our staff will don one for your benefit upon request. If you feel no need for one (and aren’t sick, of course), then we don’t require that you wear one in the shop. Ventilation is good and the place is rarely “thronged.” At shows, you’ll be in a seat for an hour with people around you, so we certainly endorse any cautiousness on your part. Wear a good mask if it makes you feel more comfortable. 

In general, we understand that a fresh booster is recommended and effective for those at least six months out from their last one — particularly for those with immunodeficiency issues and those over the somewhat arbitrary age of 65.

But for those who are fully vaccinated and those without particular vulnerability, it seems that covid is generally mild and part of the landscape. Or so it seems to layfolk here at Bird & Beckett.

We do hope you won’t stay away from the bookshop! We’d be lonely and broke! But we’ll be happy to accommodate you in anyway we can if you have reservations.

For shows in the bookshop, which typically run two hours with a break, we think audience members are well advised to wear a mask and to do any maskless conversing OUTSIDE on the break. Inside, why not keep one on? A good one, that’s going to protect you rather than one that’s for show.

We’re not going to tell you what to do, but we hope you’ll keep in mind the possibility that you’re carrying something your friends and neighbors might not want. Maybe you’ve been in a convivial maskless environment the last few days — those super fun, loud and  exuberant  barrooms, for instance… a crowded dining room at a posh restaurant… hiding out in the caves of Cappodocia… you get the idea. What happens in Vegas should stay in Vegas. Wear a mask at the show!

And the corollary: leading a generally sedate life and not engaging in a whole lot of social intercourse? Maybe you’re unlikely to be carrying the virus and don’t need to be so concerned about protecting the general welfare of the populace. But maybe you’d like to increase your chances of remaining virus free by wearing a good mask when in the audience.

Your call. If you’re confident that your immune system is up to the occasional assault, and if you’re not offending the person next to you, we won’t criticize you for not wearing one.

For bookstore browsing, noon to six, Tuesday to Sunday, try to remember to carry a mask (or pick one up at Buddies Market or Glen Park Hardware) and wear it if you might be carrying something (virus, not books) or if you’re concerned about picking something up (virus, not books). Otherwise, particularly if it’s not crowded, it’s pretty much up to you. That said, if a staff member is nervous, they might well ask you to wear a mask. If they do, please do! We do have spares here.

If a fellow browser looks at you askance or cowers in fear, don’t scowl at them! Beg their forgiveness and ask them if they’d be more comfortable if you put on a mask, then ask them how their day’s been and what they’ve been reading lately!

You might have just found a new friend!

Love you madly, and don’t want you getting sick on our watch!

Thanks for your heroic reading…

Happy browsing & jazz!

/s/ Eric, prop. since 1999


Our events are put on under the umbrella of the nonprofit Bird & Beckett Cultural Legacy Project (the "BBCLP"). That's how we fund our ambitious schedule of 300 or so concerts and literary events every year.

The BBCLP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit...
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Gigging musicians! You have nothing to lose but your lack of a collective voice to achieve fair wages for your work!

The IMA can be a conduit for you, if you join in to make it work.

Read more here - Andy Gilbert's Feb 25 article about the IMA from KQED's site