Four ways to grab MIT Press books while observing social distancing

We’re all adjusting to a strange new way of doing life, and for bookworms, this means a break from the pleasure of visiting the local bookstore. We are always encouraging our friends, family, and customers to support independent and high street retailers alongside their online shopping, as there is so much to learn and love on the shelves of these industry stalwarts. If you’re reading this post it’s quite likely you’ve been used to popping into bookstores regularly, whether to pick up that long-awaited volume by a favorite author, or just to peruse the shelves in case anything takes your fancy.

The good news is that being banished from bookstores does not mean that we can’t get books. Here are four ways you can continue to support the book industry while in lockdown. 

1. Buy Direct

Although there are many online retailers that have made our lives (and book-buying) really easy, there’s nothing quite like a trip to the bookstore. That’s why we’re keen to help them weather the storm that all retailers are facing now that COVID-19 has changed our buying habits. You may have seen news reports that San Francisco’s historic City Lights Bookstore was saved by a GoFundMe campaign, which has so far raised over $400,000! While giving is a wonderful thing to do, you can support bookstores in other ways too. 

Some of our favorite indie bookstores, such as Kepler’s in Menlo Park, CA and Gibson’s in Concord, NH are running their own local and national delivery services – Gibson’s is even offering a “99 Problems But Shipping Ain’t One” promo of 99c media mail shipping on $10+ orders to the Continental US. Many that aren’t able to offer delivery have teamed up with the wonderful people at Bookshop, an online bookstore with a mission to financially support independent bookstores and give back to the book community. You can shop ‘via’ their affiliate bookstores, which earns the store 25% commission. So if you fancy supporting City Lights or indeed our very own MIT Press Bookstore, you can do so directly through their respective Bookshop pages.

If you’re in the UK, this helpful list from The Bookseller shows you which local stores in your area are offering delivery services. Elsewhere we recommend giving your local bookstore a ring or popping them an email to ask if there is a way you can buy through them.  

2. Enjoy an eBook

We love eBooks! If you are interested in purchasing any of MIT Press’s titles in eBook format, many are available through the following retailers and aggregators: 

(Please note that each collection and service has its own pricing and delivery system)

3. Give it a Listen

There are many of us who switch frequently between audiobooks and reading, but the exhausting impact of the crisis has made it even more appealing than usual to sit back on the sofa, close your eyes and lose yourself in a great topic. 

The MIT Press partners with many of the best independent audio producers to present its books in audiobook editions which are then offered through digital audio services like Audible, Downpour or The latter is a great service allowing you to support the local bookstore of your choice–the booksellers at the MIT Press Bookstore are big fans since they get complimentary audiobooks each month from their partners! 

4. Beg, Borrow, Steal

Okay, maybe not the last of these… but we do encourage you to make use of your local Public Library over this time. Though many of them are closed, most libraries have a wealth of overlooked online resources you can make use of. In the US at least, most public libraries use Overdrive to supply eBook editions of all of our titles.