Independent Bookstore Day took place around on Saturday, with 458 stores participating in 48 states. A wide range of events were planned--from cocktail parties to author signings to coloring book contests--to encourage readers to celebrate, and patronize, their local bookstore.
A number of regional bookselling associations sponsored contests challenging customers to visit multiple locations to win prizes. In Chicago, for example, 24 stores were part of the #MyChicagoBookstore Challenge, which offered year-long discounts to customers who visited 10 stores, spending who at least $25 at one of them.
Carrie Obry, executive director of the Midwest Independent Booksellers Association was busy touring several stores around Minneapolis-St. Paul on Saturday, and bought two of the exclusive IBD items available for purchase at bookstores: a copy of the drinks recipe book A Literary Cocktail Party (CBD) and this year's IBD tote bag. She noted that local and national book-oriented social media posts seemed to have driven most customers to stores.
Further north, the Bookstore at Fitger's in Duluth, MN sponsored a reading by eight contributors to Going Coastal: an Anthology of Lake Superior Short Stories (North Star Press) drawing a crowd of more than twenty.
On the East Coast at Papercuts J.P. in Boston, bookseller Rei Jackler noted that one customer was waiting when the store opened; this customer had already visited three other Boston independent bookstores that morning. She was just one shy of filling her "IBD Passport," which would would give her a discount prize of $5 off a $25 purchase at each bookstore through May 31, 2017.
Other patrons were attracted to Papercuts for the free baked goods doled out by author Min Jin Lee, who spent the morning signing copies of her new book Pachinko (Grand Central), while others wandered in just as they would any Saturday. "I like to support independent bookstores if I can," said Maggie Evans, a neighborhood resident who heard about IBD on a listserv for events in the greater Boston area.
Meanwhile, up in Canada, bookstores were hosting "Authors for Indies Day," during which authors work as honorary booksellers for the day. "Total participation hit 90 stores, with some late additions," founder Janie Chang told PW late on Friday. This number is three stores higher than anticipated last week, but still down from 100 in 2015.
In Toronto, several stores participated for the first time, including recently opened Queen Books and The Beguiling, the city's well-regarded comic bookstore. Earlier this year the store moved locations. "We're looking forward to trying things that we haven't done before, like Authors for Indies Day, now that we have the space to move around in the aisles," said owner Peter Berkemoe. The store hosted authors Brian McLachalan, author of Draw Out The Story: Ten Secrets to Creating Your Own Comics, and What Noise Do I Make? (Owlkids) and Claudio Ghirardo, who draws the experimental webcomic, "Untitled," on Saturday.
Further down Queen St. at Type Books, author Stacey May Fowles presented her book Baseball Life Advice: Loving the Game That Saved Me (McClelland & Stewart), while authors Elan Mastai (All Our Wrong Todays, Dutton), was waiting in the wings and hand selling copies of Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff (Harper) and The Bear by Claire Cameron (Doubleday Canada).
Joanne Saul co-founder of Type Books, noted that it was "always exciting to bring more authors into the store and hear what they recommend to customers," and it always sparked additional sales.