With less than a week to go, 435 independent bookstores around the country are preparing to celebrate their roles as community hubs on the second national Independent Bookstore Day on Saturday, April 30. Bookstores are planning to make it a party with music, food, drinks, scavenger hunts, and several exclusive items, including The Neil Gaiman Coloring Book.
“I am always amazed at the creativity and enthusiasm of the stores and booksellers in planning their parties,” IBD program director Samantha Schoech told PW. “I just hope everyone has a great time and a huge sales boost."
At least one bookstore, Fireside Books in Palmer, Alaska, will kick off its party with free fly-fishing lessons. The King’s English in Salt Lake City and a number of other stores will participate in Litographs’s World’s Longest Tattoo Chain, a project launched on Kickstarter in July 2014 to retell Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass via 5,258 temporary tattoos.
Washington, D.C.’s East City Book Shop will hold its grand opening on IBD. Stories in Brooklyn will offer a sneak peak prior to its May opening, and Atomic Books in Baltimore will hold a 15th anniversary celebration on IBD.
And, while it may not have a space yet, much less an opening date, Queens Bookshop in New York City will participate in IBD with outdoor events at the Russell Sage Playground in the Forest Hills section of Queens. Novels & Novelties in Hendersonville, N.C., which recently changed its name from Fountainhead Bookstore, is using the day to unveil its new logo.
IBD 2016 Author Ambassador Lauren Groff (Fates and Furies) will appear with other authors at her local bookstore, Wild Iris in Gainesville, Fla. Mary Roach (Gulp) volunteered for an hour-long “Ask Mary Anything” session at Pegasus Books in downtown Berkeley, Calif. Harvard Book Store in Cambridge is holding an after-hours ghost story reading with Samantha Hunt (Mr. Splitfoot) and Kelly Link (Get in Trouble).
Several booksellers have once again worked to set up city-wide programs for IBD. Seattle-area bookstores, for the second year in a row, are honoring “Indie Bookstore Champions” who spend the day visiting all 17 participating bookstores with a 25% discount at each store all year. In the Twin Cities, those who visit 10 participating bookstores on IBD will receive a $10 gift card to each store.
Watchung Booksellers in Montclair, N.J., has worked on a state-wide effort, spearheading the creation of a New Jersey Independent Bookstore Map bookmark, which will be handed out at more than 20 indie stores. The bookmark is intended to dispel the notion that the state lacks great independent bookstores.
In Canada, booksellers will also be celebrating on April 30, as they enjoy the second annual Canadian Authors for Indies Day. The day more closely resembles Indies First Day, which is held over Thanksgiving weekend in the U.S. During both events, hundreds of authors volunteer as guest booksellers. Like IBD and Indies First Day, Authors for Indies Day focuses on the importance of indies to their communities.