Beginning this Independent Bookstore Day, April 27, readers are invited to visit bookstores across Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket as part of an event organized by Massachusetts booksellers Caitlin Doggart of Where the Sidewalk Ends in Chatham, Sara Hines of Eight Cousins in Falmouth, and Vicky Titcomb of Titcomb’s Bookshop in East Sandwich.
The Cape & Islands Bookstore Trail will feature 20 bookstores. Trail maps will be available at participating stores, and can also be downloaded from the trail’s website. Readers can begin visiting stores on April 27 and continue through the rest of the year; those who visit five or more stores during 2019 will be given a Cape & Islands Bookstore Trail button.
Titcomb told Bookselling This Week that the idea for the trail was sparked at a recent meeting hosted by the New England Independent Booksellers Association that the three owners attended, during which they discussed plans to better promote stores on and around Cape Cod.
“We were inspired by the Vermont bookstore passport and the Independent Bookstore Day program that the Seattle stores organized a few years ago,” said Hines, who has long worked to connect bookstores across the Cape and Islands. The goal for the project, she added, is to celebrate all the amazing bookstores on Cape Cod and to encourage visitors to explore towns across the Cape.
The three booksellers collaborated to compile a list of independent bookstores on the Cape. “Bookstore owner enthusiasm gave a wonderful momentum to keep the project moving forward on a strict timeline,” said Doggart, “and we combined our organizational strengths to provide a framework for coordinating all of the bookstores in the area. This would have felt impossible to tackle alone!”
Doggart added that the bookstore trail will be an opportunity for booksellers and readers to connect across the Cape: “Being connected as a group of bookstores in a particularly beautiful geographic area helps us all to establish Cape Cod as a literary destination and a great place for book lovers to come and browse.”
“We hope to raise the profile of every participating store by working together. Having a vibrant bookstore in a community is so important to communities as a whole, and we want Cape Codders, tourists, and publishers alike to recognize Cape Cod as a literary destination,” Titcomb added. “We have only just started. Who knows where this wonderful collaboration could lead!”