Every Monday here on the Seattle Review of Books, we recommend one literary event — usually a reading, but sometimes a sale or another kind of function — for every night of the week. But advising people to gather in public places is a tricky proposition, given that Seattleites are being urged by King County to not gather in groups of 10 or larger due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Public health workers are some of our favorite people, and we respect their guidance. The whole point of being a good neighbor and a good citizen is caring about everyone's health. Even though many of you reading this are healthy, able-bodied people who would no doubt shrug off coronavirus, there are also thousands of members of your community — the elderly, the immunocompromised — who are at risk. So we can't in good faith encourage you to leave the house and gather somewhere that puts people at risk.
Then, too, there's the problem that events all over Seattle are being canceled at a rapid clip as travel becomes more and more constricted. We can't necessarily promise that a Thursday event we're telling you about today will still actually happen on Thursday.
But at the same time, we want to support local bookstores, and those bookstores are having a really tough time of it right now. Sales are slumping precipitously due to coronavirus, and they're not likely to climb back to normal levels for at least a couple of weeks.
So instead, we're going to try something different: we're going to recommend an audiobook by an author for every day of the week. Generally, but not always, the author will be one who was scheduled to appear in Seattle this week. And then, we'll link to the audiobook on Libro.fm, which allows you to direct a portion of your sale to the independent bookstore of your choice. That way you get a great new reading experience, you get to support a local indie bookstore, and you don't have to leave the house.
Nothing will ever replicate the joy of attending a great reading with a room full of like-minded book lovers, but for an outbreak-inspired compromise, we think this is about as good as it gets. Check back here at noon to find seven recommendations for your week in readings.