MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD) – March 21st was the date Karen Anne Pagano has on her calendar for months.
“Everything was set and ready, and books on shelves,” said Pagano.
But the Coronavirus has different plans for her and her dreams.
“We couldn’t open because of obviously the virus and the governor’s decision to close down non-essential businesses,” said Pagano.
She said she felt the community was missing a bookstore.
“Well part of my original vision was to be a place where people could have coffee, sit down in a comfy armchair, or sit at the bar and kind’ve browse books,” Pagano said. “Kind’ve like a sanctuary from the outside world.”
She noticed a trend in people wanting to shop locally and that they’re looking for that connection with small businesses. She said it was the community that came to her side.
“The outpouring of support from the community, people coming in, calling me up saying you know ‘please don’t close before you open the doors.’ So every body’s really excited about the store,” said Pagano.
“I’m kind’ve a brick and mortar guy and for books, it’s so fun to be able to come in and sit, page through, and read them,” Anthony Nouri, a regular at the store said. “You just can’t get that online.”
Nouri said he’s been to the shop several times in the last few weeks and that books are his safe place with all that’s going on.
“Reading’s always therapeutic. Always has been,” Nouri said. “But it just allows us more time during the pandemic to pick up a book and sit down and slow down in life a little bit.”
And Pagano is happy to provide that place of comfort for you, too.
“Security and comfort for sure. Books are a safe place and they’re a fun place. And you can escape to whole different worlds.”
Pagano said she’ll continue to monitor the county’s COVID-19 numbers and has a plan in place to close if there’s a spike in cases.
In the meantime, however, her business is fully equipped with sanitizer, Lysol, and masks for employees and customers to be able to operate safely.