As plans come together for Independent Bookstore Day, which will be celebrated by 400 bookstores around the country on May 2, booksellers in New York City announced that they intend to mount their own Big Apple version of the event.
More than two dozen locations throughout the city—from the Civil Service Book Shop, which provides prep materials for the civil service exam, to long-time bookseller Strand Book Store and newly relocated Bonnie Slotnik Cookbooks—are participating, with unique events planned and an afterparty set at the Powerhouse Arena in Brooklyn.
Stores will offer individual events like a literary trivia contest in Queens at Astoria Bookshop, a neighborhood scavenger hunt in East Harlem’s La Casa Azul Bookstore, and photo ops with authors in Fort Greene’s Greenlight Bookstore. Caldecott Medal-winning author and illustrator Brian Floca will create the official Bookstore Day NYC artwork, which will be available as a postcard and as a collectable poster for in-store purchase on May 2.
“New York City has always and will always be a great home for independent bookstores,” says Molly Quinn, director of public programming at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe. “We’re excited to be a part of the national effort, and thrilled to show off NYC’s best gems on this day."
But New York isn’t the only city where bookstores are doing a joint celebration. A dozen Chicagoland bookstores are working together for the second year in a row. Customers will have a chance to collect pages from each participating store to complete a limited edition chapbook of a previously unreleased story by Stuart Dybek, illustrated by Dmitry Samarov.