Inklings Bookshop reopens for customers, shopping by appointment

YAKIMA, Wash. — A Yakima bookstore is taking a different approach in complying with retail store requirements under Phase 1.5 of the governor’s Safe Start plan: 15 percent capacity and a half-hour shopping limit.

“We’re very excited and actually surprised we can go to Phase 1.5 now,” owner Susan Richmond said. It was a little earlier than we thought, but we’re very glad.”

Rather than face potentially long lines of customers or having to monitor the number of people shopping to comply with the requirements, the bookstore is allowing customers to make an appointment to come in and browse.

“We’re starting appointment shopping to make sure that we can stay safe and keep the crowds down for now,” Richmond said.

Customers can make an appointment by using an online form or by calling 509-965-5830, with up to six people per household. Appointments are available from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday and curbside pickup remains available.

Other safety measures include a sanitation station with hand sanitizer and disposable gloves by the door and staff wiping down frequently-touched surfaces in between appointments. Customers are required to wear masks.

“I wish I could say I could see their smiles, but we can’t,” Richmond said. “What we’re saying now is, ‘It’s really fun to see your smiling eyes.'”

Richmond said after months of doing curbside pickup and being unable to really converse with their customers, staff are looking forward to seeing them in person.

“We really thrive on the one-to-one and people being able to tell us about their new favorite book,” Richmond said. “We’re looking forward to seeing people we haven’t seen in months and months.