'Post-Apocalyptic Fiction': The Bookloft's post-election photo goes viral
GREAT BARRINGTON - It's been shared across the world, from Great Barrington to New Zealand.
In the wake of the presidential election, an employee of The Bookloft wrote a a message on the chalkboard in front of the store reading "Post-Apocalyptic Fiction has been moved to our Current Affairs section."
And since the shop posted a picture of the sign on Facebook, it has been shared more than 72,000 times in the past two weeks.
"I said it to my husband before I went to work on the Wednesday morning after the election," said Zazu Galdos-Shapiro, the store's children's section book-buyer and author of the message. "He laughed. So I thought I'd write it on the board."
The Bookloft has been in continuous operation for 42 years. Founders Eric and Ev Wilska sold the business last May to Pamela Pescosolido, whose family has owned property in the small town of Mount Washington since 1910.
Pescosolido was out of town when Galdos-Shapiro made the sign, she said.
"I saw it on Facebook," Pescosolido said. "I didn't realize the viral nature of the picture. I was stunned and amazed by the reaction."
Galdos-Shapiro said that people have come into the store to comment- mostly positively- on the sign. The store has received phone calls supporting the message from North Carolina to London. And the picture didn't only resonate with people upset about the results of the election.
Some in far away New Zealand found the quip about post-apocalyptic fiction apt to their situation. The country endured an earthquake and flooding over the past weeks, leading a commenter on The Bookloft's Facebook post to remark that the Pacific nation has recently felt post-apocalyptic too.
"Your chalkboard has given us a good chuckle at a time when we needed it!" wrote Louise Thomas in a comment.
On the other side of the board is a message for the entire community: You're welcome here, no matter what.
"The Bookloft is, and always will be, a safe space for every person, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, ableness, etc," the message reads. "We're here for you. (Plus, we have books. You're probably going to need them.)"
In the wake of all the divisive rhetoric and political fissures that have come with the presidential election and its aftermath, Galdos-Shapiro said, The Bookloft felt it was necessary to make it clear that the store was still an open and warm place for everyone.
"It's not really about politics," she said. "Everyone, no matter who they are, is welcome here."
Reach staff writer Eoin Higgins at 413-496-6236 or @BE_EoinHiggins.
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