This week is Independents Week, first conceptualized in 2001 by Carla Jimenez of Inwood Books in Tampa, Fla., and fine-tuned last year with the launch of ABA’s IndieBound program. This week, several bookstores are collaborating with other entities, not just to celebrate locally-owned businesses, but also to call attention to the fact that they are an essential part of the fabric both of people’s lives and of local communities.

Rainy Day Books in Fairway, Kans., and, a book blog recently launched by Abraham Associates publishers rep John Mesjak, are teaming together to celebrate independent bookstores with a contest in which all participants “pay it forward.” Independent bookstore patrons, publishers, sales reps, booksellers, book reviewers, authors, or -- as the co-sponsors declare in their press release announcing this contest -- “anyone who is an open champion of independent booksellers” may nominate their favorite independent bookstore for one of five prizes — an autographed set of the four books in Stephenie Meyer’s best-selling Twilight series.

Anyone nominating their favorite bookstore for these prizes must tweet the name of the bookstore and an explanation for why it’s their favorite bookstore to either @RainyDay or @mesjak, with the hashtag RDB714. Entries must be received by midnight, July 14, and will be judged on three criteria: “fervor of support, how they might ‘pay it forward’, and overall spirit.”

“We wanted to do something that’d call attention — by name -- to independent bookstores,” said Geoffrey Jennings, corporate counsel of Rainy Day, “It’s Independents Week, so it’ll be great, people all over the country tweeting about their local bookstores on Twitter.”

For more information, go to

Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville, Ill., is keeping their celebration of Independents Week local, and somewhat more old-fashioned than Rainy Day. “Community-based” activities will take place throughout the upscale suburb west of Chicago between July 6-12, spearheaded by Anderson’s store personnel, and organized in tandem with nearly 100 other stores, restaurants, and other local businesses. “IndieBound Naperville Independents Week” kicked off with a blood drive outside Anderson’s Monday, followed the next day with a “Tax Holiday,” during which consumers received a 7.5% rebate on their purchases from participating merchants. The celebration will continue with a parade, a “Freedom Walk,” a day honoring nonprofits, and a sidewalk sale, with the festivities winding up on July 12 with a block party behind Anderson’s.

To learn more about Naperville’s first annual “IndieBound Naperville Independents Week,” go to