Nine independent bookstores in Chicago, Illinois, are preparing to welcome customers for special deals, refreshments, and free books on Chicago Independent Bookstore Day, to be held on July 12, 2014.
Following conversations with fellow booksellers at this year’s Winter Institute, Stefan Moorehead of Unabridged Bookstore approached Suzy Takacs at The Book Cellar about plans for a day to celebrate Chicago’s diverse mix of indie bookstores. After seeing the success of California Bookstore Day in May, “I thought that would be a great thing to bring back to Chicago,” said Moorehead.
The nine bookstores participating in Chicago Independent Bookstore Day are:
- 57th Street Books
- The Book Cellar
- City Lit Books
- Open Books Ltd.
- Powell’s Bookstores Chicago
- Sandmeyer’s Bookstore
- Seminary Co-op Bookstore
- Unabridged Bookstore
- Women & Children First
While plans are still in progress for author events, food and drink, and raffles and giveaways, one element has already been designed to encourage customers to visit stores in neighborhoods beyond their own: the opportunity to build a limited-edition Lilli Carré print by collecting puzzle pieces at each store visited, with the first pieces being acquired following a $25 purchase and a request to begin the puzzle.
The puzzle was created exclusively for Chicago Independent Bookstore Day by Carré, an artist and illustrator in the city who once worked in a used bookstore. With just 180 copies of the print available, customers must visit all nine bookstores to acquire the pieces to assemble the entire puzzle. The first set of pieces must be collected on July 12 and customers have until August 3 to collect their remaining pieces.
While the event is starting small this year, Moorehead said that he hopes to see Chicago Independent Bookstore Day grow next year “to show the full breadth of the independent book world of Chicago.”