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Serendipity Books in the Works for Connecticut

Nikkya Hargrove is planning to open Serendipity Books in Stratford, Connecticut, beginning with a pop-up shop that will debut at Two Roads Brewery on April 30, reported the Stratford Daily Voice. Hargrove, who attended Bard College and is a freelance writer for the Washington Post, has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for the store.

“I want to run a bookstore for many reasons but for one, it provides our community with the opportunity to buy local and support local members of our community through their purchase at our store,” Hargrove told the Daily Voice.

Hargrove, who lives with her wife and three children in Stratford, plans to make social justice a prominent theme at Serendipity Books. The store will also offer programming for kids and adults, including a monthly social group, paint-and-wine nights, and volunteer opportunities.

Saturn Booksellers, Tribeca GalleryCafé, East City Bookshop to Celebrate Birthdays

Saturn Booksellers in Gaylord, Michigan, is celebrating 25 years in business on April 29, Independent Bookstore Day (IBD). Customers visiting the store that day will have the opportunity to offer memories and photos of fun times at Saturn and will be treated to refreshments, story times, and crafts and games for children, as well as special merchandise for IBD and free audiobook downloads through As part of the store’s anniversary celebration, every 25th book purchased from Saturn in store or online from now through April 29 is free.

Tribeca GalleryCafé & Books in Watertown, Wisconsin, is marking a decade in business on April 21–22. The two-day celebration will feature live music, author events with Lesley Kagen and Jan Detrie, sales all weekend, and cake.

East City Bookshop is celebrating its first birthday on April 29, Independent Bookstore Day, when visitors can pick up limited-edition merchandise created for IBD, earn a free gift with a $50 purchase, and sign a giant birthday card in the bookstore’s courtyard. The store will also offer free coffee and donuts early in the day, two free story times, a performance by LGBT a cappella ensemble Not What You Think, and an evening party featuring a signature cocktail, live music, and a photo booth.

Firefly Books Relocates

Kutztown, Pennsylvania’s Firefly Books has moved to a new location that triples the size of the store, reported the Reading Eagle. Volunteers helped owners Rebecca Laincz and Matthew Williams pack, renovate, and move last month.

The new 3,000-square-foot space holds about 50,000 books, games, and gifts. The children’s section was designed in the shape of an amphitheater, and the front of the store has been arranged to allow for board games, events, and lounging.

Williams told the Reading Eagle that the next big project for the store is to make it handicap accessible. A GoFundMe campaign launched earlier this year to raise funds for the necessary renovations to the building, which is owned by the store. “It’s something we need and want to do for our customers,” said Laincz.

Content Bookstore, Bookie’s Paperbacks to Grow

On April 29, Content Bookstore, located in Northfield, Minnesota, will move across the hall to a new, larger space in the same building, reported Northfield News. The move will grow the store’s footprint by about 30 percent.

“When we opened the shop, we knew this was a community that would enthusiastically support an indie bookstore,” said Jessica Peterson White, who owns the store with her husband, Nate White. “We didn’t know quite how enthusiastic our customers would be. We already find we need more space to support our robust events schedule, to expand our offerings for kids and families, and to continue to cultivate the cozy, relaxed atmosphere and lovingly curated selection our readers appreciate.”

In Chicago, new and used bookstore Bookie’s Paperbacks & More will double its space with a move into a 2,800-square-foot location this summer, reported DNAinfo. The original store, to be called Bookie’s Annex, will remain as a venue for book signings, book clubs, game nights, and more.

“This is a necessary expansion to give me more room. I need more space to be able to display my books and merchandise,” said owner Keith Lewis. The new location will feature a larger inventory of new books and will allow for a children’s story time and some comfortable chairs. It will also have parking behind the building.

G.J. Ford Bookshop Lands Role in Film

Mary Jane Reed, owner of G.J. Ford Bookshop on St. Simons Island, Georgia, recently welcomed a film crew from INSP Films to the store to shoot scenes for an upcoming romantic drama, Christmas on the Coast, reported Brunswick News. Dozens of people — crew members, actors, and extras — filmed at G.J. Ford on a Sunday, when the store is typically closed.

In Christmas on the Coast, which releases this fall, a writer leaves New York City to return to her hometown in Georgia to rid herself of writer’s block. G.J. Ford Bookshop appears in the film as a Manhattan bookstore during the holiday season.

“We would absolutely do it again,” Reed said. “The crew was polite and very respectful of the property. They tried to remember how to put everything back in place, but since that was impossible, we had to do some of that ourselves. But it wasn’t a big deal.”