Saturday, April 27, will mark the fifth annual Independent Bookstore Day, a one-day party taking place at indie bookstores nationwide. This year, booksellers are celebrating with children’s story times, author events, open mics, giveaways, and more.
Hartfield Book Company in Monticello, Illinois, will be celebrating for the first time, owner Nicole Stewart told Bookselling This Week. “For the past few years, I’ve celebrated Independent Bookstore Day as a patron, always having to travel 90 minutes or more to get to an independent bookstore,” said Stewart, who opened Hartfield Book Company in December 2018. “I’m ridiculously excited about celebrating my first IBD as a bookstore owner this year and can’t wait to bring the party to my hometown!
“Independent Bookstore Day is an awesome opportunity to remind our neighbors who we are and why we matter, what sets indie bookstores apart from their chain and online competitors, the value that we add to our local economy, and the ways we participate in and enrich our community,” Stewart added. “It’s also a reminder to us of the larger independent bookstore community that we are fortunate enough to belong to — a community that strives to make a positive impact, to put good things out into the world, to make people’s lives better, and a community that is thriving and growing despite any lingering perception that indies are dying off.”
Stewart said that Hartfield’s has a number of fun events planned for the day, including a children’s story time and craft time, bookstore scavenger hunts for kids and adults that can be completed for a chance to win some special prizes, and a literary open mic in the evening.
“We’ll also have fun decorations, snacks, a bookstore photo booth, giveaways, and, of course, those indie exclusive, limited availability IBD items,” she added. “We’re also encouraging participation in our community reading challenge by offering a special discount on any book purchased for the challenge on Independent Bookstore Day.”
Mitzi’s Books in Rapid City, South Dakota, told Bookselling This Week that the store will be celebrating Independent Bookstore Day for the fifth year in a row.
“Coming off of a long, cold winter,” said bookseller Heather Herbaugh, “Independent Bookstore Day falls at a perfect time when people are feeling re-energized and want to be out with friends and family enjoying all the things that make their communities special, including their bookstore.”
This year, Mitzi’s will host local author Sandra Brannan, a popular mystery writer. On April 27, Herbaugh said, “Sandra is going to let our customers be booksellers for a day. For every book purchased (pre-K through middle reader), Sandra will donate the same book to Red Shirt Elementary School, located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Customers can share why they chose those particular books and why the kids at Red Shirt Elementary will enjoy them, too!”
Mitzi’s is also planning a book trivia hour, a coloring contest, face-painting, refreshments, and more.
Here are some of the other ways bookstores are celebrating:
- Edmonds Bookshop in Washington is offering IBD t-shirts and tote bags for sale as well as free audiobooks from Libro.fm.
- Bards Alley in Vienna, Virginia, is holding a community-wide book hunt featuring more than 100 advance reader copies hidden around participating businesses in town, among other activities.
- Flintridge Bookstore and Coffeehouse in La Cañada Flintridge, California, will host authors Susan LaTempa, Dario CiVon, Marissa Kennerson, and Joseph Puglia, among others.
- Fenton’s Open Book in Fenton, Michigan, will have authors Erin Bartels and Brenda Hasse signing at the store.
- The Towne Book Center in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, will host the Philly Liars Club for a live recording of their podcast.
- BookBar in Denver, Colorado, is partnering with the Lighthouse Writers Workshop to celebrate the launch of the recently published community anthology All the Lives We Ever Lived, with readings from several author contributors.