Indie Bookstores Give Back This Holiday Season [3]

Booksellers nationwide are using the holiday season as an opportunity to give back to their local communities through donations and fundraising.

Take a look at the ways indie bookstores are giving back this year:

A copy of Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World

Auntie’s Bookstore [5] in Spokane, Washington, has brought back its annual Angel Tree [6]. The store recently posted on Instagram [7] that one customer purchased a copy of Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky (Ten Speed Press) that a child requested.

A promotion from Mclean & Eakin where customers can get their photo taken with the Grinch.

Mclean & Eakin Booksellers [8] in Petoskey, Michigan, encouraged readers to purchase a poem from the Petoskey High School. The store wrote in a Facebook post [9]: “Get your face painted like the Grinch! Also don’t forget to buy a poem from the PHS English department, all proceeds are going to the Women’s Resource Center.”

A cat at the Novel Neighbor

Gateway Pet Guardians [10] worked with The Novel Neighbor [11] in Webster Groves, Missouri, to host its first annual Feline Navidad Donation Drive [12]. Community members were encouraged to donate cat toys, wands, scratchers, and cat bowls.

Students at St. Louis Public Schools

Left Bank Books [13] in St. Louis, Missouri, is hosting its 2018 Angel Tree Book Drive, which kicked off on Giving Tuesday, November 27. In a post on Facebook [14], the store announced that for this year, it is collecting books for English-language learners in St. Louis Public Schools.

A book-themed cake submitted to the 6th Annual Cake Auction at Northshire Bookstore

Northshire Bookstore [15] in Manchester, Vermont, hosted its 6th Annual Cake Auction [16], a benefit to their Book Angel Program, on Friday, December 7. The auction featured a wine and cheese reception, book-themed cakes, and an author event with Food Network’s Gesine Bullock-Prado.

Story Time with Drag Queens at Women & Children First

From November 30 to December 14, Women & Children First [17] in Chicago, Illinois, is working with the Care for Real Toy Drive [18]. The store is accepting dolls, cars, backpacks, legos, puzzles, paint sets, crafts, movie passes, cold-weather gear, and personal care items. The store also recently held a kick-off event for its SitStayRead Wishing Tree Donation Drive [19], which featured a story time with drag queens.

Book Passage's Giving Tree.

In its November newsletter, the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association [20] shared that Book Passage [21] in San Francisco, California, observed its first-annual “Thank You Thursday,” a card-writing event. “Small-business card companies provided donations, and staff provided postage,” NCIBA wrote. “Among the recipients: Ruth Bader Ginsburg received a number of get well wishes with thanks for her work!The store also set up its annual giving trees.

Skylight Bookstore's bookstore cat.

Skylight Books [22] in Los Angeles, California, is inviting volunteers to gift wrap at their store. Volunteers are set up with a tip jar to collect money for the charity, school, or nonprofit organization of their choice. In November, Skylight Books also hosted LUXE Paws outside of their store to raise money [23] for their rescue cats and kittens. 

A Giving Tree at Second Flight Books.

Second Flight Books [24] in Lafayette, Indiana, has their Giving Tree set up for a second season. The store posted to Facebook [25]: “With the holiday season upon us, we’ve got our Giving Tree up for the second season. All the cards are book requests from area teachers; buy one and we’ll give you a coupon for your next visit.”

A donation box for books at Zenith Bookstore.

Zenith Bookstore [26] in Duluth, Minnesota, posted to Facebook [27] that they are a book drop location for Grandmothers for Peace [28], an organization collecting books and art supplies for children in need during the holidays.

A Book Angel promotion at Anderson's Bookshop

In addition to their Book Angel [29] program, Anderson’s Bookshop [30]’s Naperville location hosted a 4-Gifts-4-The-Holidays promotion. “This year, shop for a special child in your life with a simpler list,” the store wrote in a Facebook post [31]. “Something they want, something they need, something to wear, and something to read; and we’ll make a donation to Loaves & Fishes when you do!”

A holiday decoration at Harvard Book Store.

Harvard Book Store [32] in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is donating [33] a portion of all in-store and online sales to local charities 826 Boston [34], Community Cooks [35], and On The Rise [36].

The Adopt-A-Reader informational cards at The Bookloft

The Bookloft [37] in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, is hosting an Adopt-A-Reader [38] program, which provides a year of books to a child in need through customer donations.