Staff at Malaprops Bookstore/Cafe are busy keeping pace with a major uptick in the number of online orders they are receiving as people cope with the COVID-19 stay-at-home order, which has closed non-essential business for the time being.

The type of books customers are choosing run the gamut from ones dealing with the pandemic to those of general interest, said Justin Souther, Malaprops bookstore manager and senior buyer.

With so many requests coming in, Souther said he hasn’t found time to definitively track selections that are among the most popular.

“There’s been a lot of people buying children’s books and puzzles,” he noted.

Malaprops offers a delivery service to Buncombe County residents. Deliveries are made on Tuesdays and Fridays for orders place before noon the previous day. Home delivery requires a minimum purchase of two books and has a $2 fee.

The store also offers free shipping via media mail for orders more than $50.

Barnes & Noble stores at Asheville Mall and Biltmore Park Town Square are offering curbside pickup for books purchased online. The Biltmore Park store is also taking phone orders by calling 828-687-0681.

Information for Malaprops Bookstore/Cafe can be found at or by calling 828-254-6734.

The Barnes & Noble website is

The websites of these book stores are filled with suggested offerings, including staff recommendations.

People looking for vintage and used books can try the websites for Bagatelle Books and the Captain’s Bookshelf, which offer online services.

The Bagatelle Books website is For recommendations and assistance, people can call the store at 828-774-5585 between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily.

The store also offers delivery and pick-up service, according to the website.

The Captain’s Bookshelf website is The store offers free shipping on orders over $50.

A short list of suggested books

Here are a few possibilities that readers may like to consider.

Genres range from inspirational to travel, political history and light humor. Some suggested books may only be available through a book store’s shipping service.

• “The Art of Living,” Thich Nhat Hanh

This most recent work presents an overview of the teachings of the revered Buddhist Zen master, with clearly expressed guidance for meditation, mindful living and dealing with loss.

• “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone,” Lori Gottleib

In this New York Times bestseller, a psychotherapist offers down-to-earth insights into the process of seeking help and make life changes in a therapeutic setting.

• “A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail”, Bill Bryson

Bryson takes readers on a hiking adventure with his colorful friend, blending hilarious experiences with thoughtful perspectives on the wilderness and American culture.

•“Turn Right at Machu Picchu,” Mark Adams

A travelogue set in the Andes Mountains of Peru where readers can virtually follow the path of Hiram Bingham III, disputed discoverer of the majestic ancient site Machu Picchu. Adams chronicles his adventure with humor, historical perspective and an eye for descriptive detail.

•“First in Line: Presidents, Vice Presidents and the Pursuit of Power,” Kate Andersen Brower

The author presents well-crafted portrayals of vice presidents who became president and the challenges they faced.

• “No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II,” Doris Kearns Goodwin

This Pulitzer Prize winning book chronicles the definitive years of FDR and his accomplished wife through the author’s scholarly research that includes numerous personal accounts.

•“Dave Barry’s Book of Bad Songs,” Dave Barry

After compiling a list of songs that included funny mishearings in the 1990s, Barry wrote this short book in his uniquely humorous style. Among notable mishearings in the book is “Ain’t No Woman Like the One Eyed Gott.”

Fans of Barry can also consider his more recent books, “Best. State. Ever,” his take on Florida and its culture, and “A Field Guide to the Jewish People,” which he co-authored with Adam Mansbach and Alan Zweibel.

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