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Retail panel: I opened a bookstore in the pandemic!

Join our panel of retailers, all of whom launched their bookstore during the pandemic, for a discussion of lessons learned. They’ll share what motivated them to start a bookstore and what it was like to open their doors, virtual and physical, during a pandemic. The panelists will also delve into how they establish themselves within their communities and how they forge relationships with their customers.

Peek behind the curtain of this new class of booksellers and hear how their expectations stacked up to the reality of this new bookselling ecosystem.


Tim Middleton (BookNet Canada)
Hannah Johnston (BookNet Canada)
Lori Wightman (River Bookshop)
Stacy Batchelor (Fable Book Parlour)
Kerri Doyle (Books & Shenanigans)


This session will run for 1 hour.

The session will be hosted on Zoom. Sign language interpretation and closed captioning will be available. You can turn on closed captioning by clicking on the CC button in the menu bar.

Cameras and microphones will be off for attendees attending this session. However, the session may use the Zoom polling, chat, and Q&A. There will be someone monitoring the Zoom chat and Q&A if you have any questions or problems during the session.

This session will be recorded. The recording will be made available on YouTube after the session. If this session uses slides, they will be shared publicly after the session.

Please feel free to get in touch for any further information. If you have any accessibility requirements, we will do our best to accommodate you.

Jan 27, 2022 02:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Tim Middleton
Project Manager & Retail Liaison @BookNet Canada
Tim Middleton is a Project Manager & Retailer Liaison at BookNet Canada. With a passion for startup culture, entrepreneurial enterprises, and disruptive technology ignited by a varied career in retail and consumer research, all things bookish remain his first and true love.
Hannah Johnston
Product Coordinator @BookNet Canada
Hannah Johnston is a Product Coordinator at BookNet Canada, where she works on the SalesData and LibraryData projects. Prior to joining the BookNet team, Hannah worked in various environments including public libraries, academic archives, and local museums. Books are her first love, and she has reached the maximum number of loans and holds at her local library on numerous occasions.
Lori Wightman
Manager/Lead Bookseller @River Bookshop
Lori has been a booky as long as she remembers, first as a voracious reader, then as a library worker and now as a bookseller at River Bookshop, a small indie bookshop in beautiful Amherstburg, Ontario. She plans to live long enough to get through her to-read pile.
Stacy Batchelor
Co-Owner @Fable Book Parlour
I’m Stacy — educator, librarian, nature lover, busy mama, and (most excitedly!) co-owner of Fable Book Parlour. I love challenges, learning new things, and getting my hands dirty. Fable opened June 1, 2021 with our Fable Bookmobile and Sept. 25, 2021 with our storefront (Fable Book Parlour). We offer a diverse, handpicked selection of new and used books, vinyl records, and music accessories. Books? I want to read all of them. Actually, I lied, 74.7% of what I read is fiction — so that’s my main literary squeeze. But if I had time I’d read them all.
Kerri Doyle
Owner @Books & Shenanigans
I'm brand new to the bookselling business and opened my cute little bookshop on December 1, 2021 in Cook Street Village in Victoria, BC. We sell new and used books, kites, toys, sassy greeting cards and shenanigans. I had a pandemic crisis of the heart in January 2021 in the height of lockdown land and decided to live my dream. I gave up all the Zoom meetings and found the best spot in a great community to start living a life full of books, book people and a good amount of shenanigans.