Opening a business in the middle of a pandemic is a risky thing to do, but the concept of the BookIt Nook, a “drive-thru” bookstore, has proved to be a novel idea.
BookIt Nook opened Nov. 6 and is located on Market Place near the Olympic College Poulsbo campus. Owner Jenna DeTrapani said the drive-thru concept came to her shortly after she arrived in the Northwest in 2016 and was introduced to drive-thru coffee shops.
“Why not drive-thru books? The onset of COVID-19 reconfirmed my desire to make it happen,” DeTrapani said. “More and more people are being driven to online shopping. BookIt Nook bridges the disconnected way of shopping with the big box online store and the more personal independent bookstore experience.”
With the drive-thru, instead of ordering food, you can order a book based on the selection available. It’s also a speedy way to pick-up your online order and is as DeTrapani describes it on the website, an introvert’s dream.
While ordering online and the drive-thru method are the safest ways to enjoy BookIt Nook, those interested in getting a look inside are welcome, provided they follow COVID-19 protocols, wear a mask and remain 6 feet apart. Customers may even have a chance to get a glimpse of Papaya, the bookstore’s snake.
“Our logo includes the World Snake from Norse mythology and incorporates the idea of the ‘infinite cycle’. Like the World Snake, swallowing its own tail in a state of endless renewal, readers can live an infinite number of lives with every book,” DeTrapani said.
“That being said, while many stores boast their own bookstore cats, we actually have a bookstore snake on the premises. We understand many people have innate phobias of snakes, and that is another reason why we are pleased to have various methods in which to interact with the store.”
Like other book shops, BookIt Nook is broken down into different sections based on literary category, with new releases being featured at the front of the store. A long hallway, filled with young adult novels, leads into the children’s section, which offers a plethora of well-known kids books and activities.
Once coronavirus restrictions are lifted, DeTrapani hopes to invite book groups and guest authors into the store as well as work with local schools to organize book fairs and other fundraising events
“We put our heart and soul into this new store,” DeTrapani said. “We have an abundance of space on our side here at the store,” which is almost 3,000 square feet.
As the holiday season is upon us, DeTrapani and her co-workers have provided several suggestions for holiday gifts.
“Gift cards and gift certificates, specifically those that can be redeemed over time both in-store and online, will be big. BookIt Nook offers both physical certificates and e-cards,” DeTrapani said.
Online shopping has been growing exponentially and COVID-19 has pushed it to an all-time high. DeTrapani notes, however, that there are still people who prefer the bookstore experience.
“Contrary to popular belief, many readers still crave the connection they can have with a physical book in their hands. It’s almost like there exists a specific reader culture of actual ‘book enthusiasts,’ and many of those types of readers are drawn to independent bookstores,” DeTrapani said. “In addition, many bookstores also act as bookish gift shops – our shelves are lined with other items that readers enjoy, including planners, stationery, puzzles and games, bookmarks, stickers, jewelry, office and art supplies, apparel and much, much more.”