Back of Beyond Books and Moab Garage Co. are two of Moab’s Main Street businesses, and both are – like nearly all businesses in town – affected by the ongoing pandemic of COVID-19, also known as coronavirus.
Moab Garage Co. – which would normally be serving coffee, sandwiches, made-to-order ice cream and other goods to locals and tourists – made the decision to close its doors last week to protect “the health of our staff, our community, and ourselves,” according to a post on social media. The owners of Moab Garage Co. – Erin and Ryan Bird – also closed their Main Street donut shop, Doughbird.
Also last week, Back of Beyond Books announced it would remain open for selling books, but closed to browsing.
A few days after closing the restaurant, Moab Garage Co. / Doughbird co-owner Erin Bird posted again on social media, this time to invite the public, especially those in the service industry, to come to the sidewalk in front of Moab Garage Co. and partake in a free burrito and free book provided by Back of Beyond Books.
“Times are tough, we understand. If you have recently lost your job or received a loss in hours we would like to help,” she posted. “We don’t have much, but we do have burritos and books.”
Attendees to the March 23 event either pulled up curbside and stayed in their vehicles, or maintained the recommended “social distancing” distance of six feet between other people, to minimize the chance of inadvertently spreading germs.
About 75 people came to enjoy a burrito and a book.
“It’s really an opportunity for some camaraderie in our community in this strange time,” Bird said.
Back of Beyond Books, while closed for browsing, is still available for Moab readers to get their reading goodies. Check out their website.
“Bookstores, by nature, are places to browse,” Back of Beyond Books Owner Andy Nettell said, “but we’ve been doing special orders; we’re doing home deliveries and curbside deliveries.”
He added that Back of Beyond Books also has an online presence selling rare and collectible books, which is how he is able to give his staff some additional paid hours. “There’s very little income, but I want to really do all I can to keep the staff busy and employed and allow them to pay their bills,” he said, adding that they are “trying to make the best of a bad situation.”
Nettell said “it made total sense” when he was approached by Ryan Bird about doing a burrito morning for people who had been laid off.
“What better time than now for putting your mind to use, getting away from the phone…taking walks, and perhaps reading,” he said.
Back of Beyond Books staff is available by phone to take book orders or schedule book pick up from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily by calling 435-259-5154 or 800-700-2859.
They are taking credit card transactions only and offering 20% off to locals.
And, Nettell added, there will be a special 30% off sale on all Back of Beyond Books available at biblio.com for a week, starting on Thursday, March 26, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the bookstore. Nettell said the books on biblio.com are “primarily used and collectible books.”
Gift certificates may also be purchased and customers may preorder forthcoming books.
For those who love audiobooks and want to support Back of Beyond Books, there is the website Libro.fm. The bookstore is advertising that listeners can start membership with code SHOPBOOKSTORESNOW and get two audiobooks for the price of one ($14.99), and 100% of the payment will go to Back of Beyond Books.
“Breathe a little, read a little,” a Back of Beyond Books social media post reads. “We’re all in this together; let’s take care of each other!”
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