April 28, 2016

Here’s what’s happening across the country on Indie Bookstore Day 2016


downloadThis Saturday (4/30) is Independent Bookstore Day, an all-day celebration of indie bookstores, booksellers, and all they represent. And since last year’s was undeniably wonderful, we’re signal boosting the nation’s indies yet again this year. Do you know what’s happening in your region? Or which exclusive items are available for purchase? Independent Bookstore Day products including signed Werner Herzog broadsides, a (!!!!) Neil Gaiman coloring book (!!!!) and more? Do you know where you can participate in the world’s longest temporary tattoo chain?!!

If not, then read on! If you don’t see your local indie here, check their website to see what’s going on—or follow Indie Bookstore Day on their websiteFacebook, and Twitter.

(Note: if you’re an indie bookseller and your store has some incredible plans for Indie Bookstore Day, email me at [email protected] and we’ll spread the word as far as we can!)


New Yorkers, make sure you check out the Brooklyn Bookstore Crawl, where you can win prizes and visit amazing bookstores in the process, including:

Greenlight Bookstore, Brooklyn NY: Get there early – their friends at Doughnut Plant are providing mini cake doughnuts to start the party first thing in the morning!  Free with purchase – get them while they last…

All day, meet literary celebrities and get your photo taken at the Literary Celebrity Photo Booth! Strike a pose, get crazy with props, or get your favorite book in the picture. Here’s the schedule of celebs who will be holding court in the photo booth. Our own Rachel Cantor, author of Good On Paper and A Highly Unlikely Scenario, will be the 1:00 spot – check out the full schedule of other luminaries here. Also all day, authors with a musical bent take a turn in the DJ booth to set the party tone. Check the day’s schedule so you can catch your favorite selector!

Greenlight has also invited talented artists, illustrators, and cartoonists to offer mini-workshops and sketching sessions! Kids and adults are welcome to try their hand at drawing, with all materials provided. In between sessions, art materials will remain available for budding artistes. And after 7:00 PM, they’ll break out drinks to send off Independent Bookstore Day in style!  The photo booth will remain open and it’s a great chance to wind down and show off your great finds from the day.

WORD, Brooklyn NY/Jersey City NJ: Both stores are selling exclusive IBD merch, though there will be different stock for both our stores, so check out specifics here. Both stores are also: Handing 10% coupons to all visitors redeemable whenever after IBD, and doing blind date with galley giveaways (in-store and on Twitter for the JC store, and in-person-only at the BK location). The BK store is raffling off cool stuff, and there will be temporary tattoos courtesy of Litographics.

BookCourt, Brooklyn NYAt noon, you can try your hand at trivia and win a collection of NYRB Classics; at 2:00, catch Sunjeev Sahota talking with Dinaw Mengestu; at 4:00, Emma Straub and family hosts another round of trivia (and if you lose, don’t worry, there’s a third round at 6:00!); and at 7:00 Simon Van Booy will be reading from his latest. Plus, all day if you tag then on Instagram in a picture of you with your favorite book and a BookCourt memory, they’ll re-gram you and you enter to win a $20 gift card!

Book Culture on Columbus, Manhattan NY: Starting at 10:00 AM, the Community Coloring project will attempt to color a giant poster – come one, come all! And from 4-7, it’s cocktail hour(s.) They’re also raffling off two of theor new book subscriptions: Literature in Translation and Forever Young (Adult). The program is called Book Culture Selects, and every book subscribers receive with a personal hand-written note from our booksellers. Check out more info here.

Colgate Bookstore, Hamilton NY: You want a coloring party for grown-ups? You got one. From 11:00 AM-2:00 PM, coloring pages and supplies will be provided, or you can bring your own. There will be hot cocoa and eclairs. Plus, there will be drawings for free coloring books, as well as free book giveaways. And  13% of all adult book sales from this event to the  local library, the Hamilton Public Library.

Books On The Square, Providence RI: At 11:00 AM it’s children’s story time with Chris Byrnes, featuring Duck and Goose, along with fun activities. At 3:00, the hourly giveaways start, and The Frequency Writers will be available to answer your questions about writing, and their upcoming workshops. And at 4:00 it’s the second annual “blind date with a book”. And all day you can get exclusive IBD merch, so show up whenever you can!

Gibson’s Bookstore, Concord NH: Starting at 10:00 AM, there will be literary themed treats available for shoppers, so show up early! Then, The Poetry Society of New Hampshire will be having a reading with featured reader Gary Margolis and a poetry open mic at noon. If you spend over $30 during the festivities, you get a blind bag with ARCs of recent releases; plus, you can participate in the nationwide Literary Tattoo Chain, as we participate in a recreation of Alice in Wonderland through temporary tattoo photos. Plus, special raffle prizes and limited quantities IBD-exclusive merchandise for sale as well.

Phoenix Books, Burlington, Rutland, & Essex VT: All Phoenix branded merch will be 50% off for the day: t-shirts, hoodies, mugs, & magnets!

The Vermont Book Shop, Middlebury VT: The Literary Tattoo Chain continues here! Plus: Along with selling IBD-exclusive merchandise, the good folks at Vermont Bookshop will be raffling off prizes all day; some literary, some not, some just funny. The day begins with Duck & Goose story time at 10:30am, followed by a oloring event from 1-2pm with Vermont coloring book author, R. A. Diane. And for Vermonters who love bookstore they’re launching a Vermont Bookstores Passport program! Customers can pick up their passports and get their first stamp.

Main Point Books, Bryn Mawr PA: The day is packed with IBD merch, temporary tattoos, and special appearances! Larry Shenk, a longtime Phillies executive, will be answering questions at noon, and at 2:00, local and prolific author Beth Kephart will be available to sign not one, not two but three of her books (or any of her 25 backlist books you are interested in.) At 3:00 Allyson Kramer will be talking healthy, whole foods based, vegan and gluten-free recipes for breakfasts to desserts and everything in between. And then at 5:00, they’re breaking out the bubbly, because they know how to live.

Politics & Prose, Washington DC: P&P is highlighting local authors in our events, including those who have self-published through their Espresso book printing machine (nicknamed Opus). Also, their recently revamped coffeehouse and wine bar, The Den, will be baking up some “Bookies” especially for the occasion. Their children’s department is hosting an afternoon book-making class, where kids can create their own mini-masterpieces to take home. And finally, they’re encouraging customers to recite the store’s motto to booksellers: “So Many Books, So Little Time.” – they might get something in return if they do!

East City Bookshop, Washington DC: This new Capitol Hill store celebrates its GRAND OPENING on Indie Bookstore Day! Their day is packed with special events, including xine creation for kids, graphic novel talk by the DC Conspiracy creators, literary scavenger hunt for kids and parents, and appearances by Louis Bayard, Andrea Kleine, and an evening of drinks, nibbles, and live jazz. Come wish them a happy opening!

Winchester Book Gallery, Winchester VA: On Saturday, the city of Winchester happens to be hosting the 89th annual Apple Blossom Festival. So, on “Bloom Saturday” the Gallery will start at 10am with hourly giveaways, a central coloring table for everyone, a Bloomin’ Tree upstairs for craft fun, a Favorite Classics Wall, an all-day Open Poetry Mic, and a Trivia Wheel with a Grand Prize. Do you like apples? Do you like books? Of course you do.

Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Lexington KY: There will be a preview from the Shrek Musical being put on by a local production company at 11:00 AM; local author Kim Michelle Richardson is discussing and signing her novel, Godpretty in the Tobacco Field at 2:00 PM; Rick Bass is discussing and signing his newest, For a Little While, at 4:00 PM; and they’re capping the day off with David Arnold and Jeff Zentner at 7:00pm. Plus, they’re selling Out of Print brand T-shirts for $10 (26.99 MSRP) the whole day, along with limited IBD merch!

Novels & Novelties, Hendersonville NC: First 25 customers get a free tote bag from the Hendersonville Community Co-op! Get in on the Alice in Wonderland Tattoo Chain! Bookstore Mad Libs and Scavenger Hunts that folks can play for chances at prizes! Ask Authors Anything (featuring Christy English, Jeremy B. Jones, Laurie McKay, and Evan Williams)! And at 2:30, catch Dr. Jason Miller, author of Origins of the Dream:  Hughes’s Poetry and King’s Rhetoric.

Malaprop’s Bookstore and Cafe, Asheville NC: They’re celebrating with a first-ever Poetry on Request event! feature local poets throughout the day who will be ready to write a poem specifically for each customer using either a lovely vintage typewriter or actual pen and paper! Then, they’ll be compiling all the poetry and publishing a one-of-a-kind chapbook. Which is amazing.

Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh NC: Refreshments and special giveaways every hour, multiple storytimes for kids 2-6 years old, and free temporary tattoos featuring your favorite lines from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and a chance to be part of the world’s longest temporary tattoo chain!

Square Books, Oxford MS: As you know, Mississippi is all about literature. So do you have big life questions?  Come ask an author! On Saturday, April 30th, from 10:30 to 4 at Square Books, some of Square’s author friends will be answering whatever questions are on your mind. Ann Fischer-Wirth, Lisa Howorth, Jack Pendarvis, Matt Bondurant, and more will sit at a special booth in shifts and answer any and all questions thrown their way. Throughout the day they’ll serve some refreshments, including free coffee until 11:00 a.m., raffle off items, give away some cool swag, and have a big book sale with all used and bargain books being sold at an additional 25% off.


If you’re celebrating Indie Bookstore Day in the Twin Cities, be sure to wear your walking shoes! Ten stores (Common Good BooksDaybreak Global Press Bookshop, DreamHaven, Magers & Quinn Booksellers, Moon Palace Books,Paperback Exchange, Red Balloon Bookshop, SubText, Wild Rumpus) are participating in the Bookstore Day passport giveaway. Pick up your passport at any of these ten stores and receive a stamp. If you get stamps from all 10 stores during business hours on April 30, tweet it to @midwestbooks and you’ll receive a $10 gift card from every participating bookstore — $100 in all!—from MIBA. A very, very sweet deal.

Magers & Quinn, Minneapolis MN: IBD merch, temporary tattoos, and free Nespresso from 11:00 – 1:00, courtesy of their neighbors at Kitchen Window, and doughnuts (while supplies last). Later at 7:00 PM, Michelle Leon reads from I Live Inside: Memoirs of a Babe in Toyland, and they also have some secret surprises planned for the afternoon!

SubText Books, St. Paul MN: In the morning, there’s have coffee and donuts for those who swing through to say hello! And bring your kids to children’s story time with Matt, one of the finest booksellers the Midwest can boast. In the early afternoon, there’s acoustic live music from Brian and Sherry Barnes. At 3:00, Özge Samanci, assistant professor at Northwestern University will present her graphic memoir, Dare to Disappoint, that discusses issues of her family’s emigration from Turkey, self-creation, interfaith dialogue, and challenges the reader to make art. And in the evening, there’ll be snacks and drinks for you while you browse the stacks—plus, Lizzie Davis, editorial assistant at Coffee House Press, amazing poet and musician, and all-around badass, will be playing music. Be sure to check out their Instagram for live updates throughout the day!

Birchbark Books & Native Arts, Minneapolis MN: The good folks at Birchbark have a LOT going on this Saturday. Morris dancing, delicious snacks, former Minneapolis mayor R.T. Rybak, fancy shawl dancing, Big Belching Bog, a bookmaking workshop for children, and of course, the great Louise Erdrich; their full schedule for IBD here.

An Open Book, Wadena MN: Since this year Independent Bookstore Day and International Tabletop Day occur on the same date; instead of picking one over the other, these folks are combining both into one celebration. The Lower Level Community Room will have tables set up to explore different games all day:  Catan, Ticket To Ride, Lanterns, Steam, The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, and more. All D&D manuals will be on sale – 20% off all day. And they’ll have a scavenger hunt in the bookstore; find all the clues to win a free signed ARC (while supplies last).

Quimby’s, Chicago IL: Catch the Quimby’s crew at their table at the Chicago Zine Fest!

Unabridged Bookstore, Chicago ILOn Saturday, the whole store will be 10% off. And that’s not to mention the cool events! At 9:00 AM they kick off the festivities with an all-ages Breakfast Club-themed shindig featuring a display of classic ’80s literature and free sweets and coffee. Guests will have a chance to discuss their favorite books with fellow Lakeview bookworms and to write their very own shelf talkers. And the food don’t stop: At 1:00 PM they’ll have macaroons, and between 5:00 and 6:00 PM legendary Chicago restauranteur Ina Pinkney will sign copies of her book, Ina’s Kitchen, with tea & pound cake served. And in the evening, there will be a Curbside Splendor-sponsored women-only reading event, featuring Chelsea Martin, Mira Gonzalez, Juliet Escoria, Amanda Goldblatt, Elizabeth Ellen, and Chloe Caldwell.

Left Bank Books, St. Louis MO: It’s all happening in St. Louis: Left Bank’s signature tea blend courtesy of Traveling Tea, beloved YA author and St. Louis’s own UK transplant Antony John critiques your British accent, Coloring Book Happy Hour, a raffle to benefit the Left Bank Books foundation featuring ridiculously good prizes, and exclusive Left Bank Books postcards to send to your friends missing out on all the fun, and much more! See the full schedule here.

The Novel Neighbor, St. Louis MO: No slouches here. Along with prizes and giveaways throughout the day, they’re starting the day early with Marathon Story Time (reading picture books for 12 hours straight, 8am-8pm, plus 20% off picture books) and bookish crafts starting at 8:00 AM and going until supplies run out. Hungry? From 10:00-11:00, it’s a Book Characters Meet & Greet, and from 2:00-4:00, you can enjoy a cake sample, and take home a book and mug for $20. And no Saturday is complete without literary cocktails & mocktails, starting at 5:00.

Malvern Books, Austin TX: They’re celebrating Indie Bookstore Day with 20% off all titles all day long (in-store only!) GET THEE TO AUSTIN.

Brazos Bookstore, Houston TX: Join the heroes at Brazos for a special story time at 10:30am and celebrate curiosity! They’ll read two classic Curious George stories, and then the Houston Zoo’s ZooMobile will set up an exploratory station where kids can interact with animals and artifacts. Then From 2-4:00 PM, it’s Independent Bookstore Day Happy Hour. Free coffee, wine, beer—and customers who share their love of books on Twitter using the hashtag #BrazosIBD will receive 15% off their purchase.

Also, for fans of both film and books, they’ll debut Stanley Kubrick-centric art on our windows—and they’ll announce the full details of an exciting summer-long program: Summer of Kubrick 2016, in partnership with Alamo Drafthouse and MFAH Films. All day long, they’ll honor their favorite local authors with an in-store display. Come browse books by Chris Cander, Amber Dermont, Nick Flynn, Mat Johnson, and more—and if you’re lucky, you might even be able to snag some signed copies! And speaking of local authors, at 7pm, they’re celebrating the book release of The Adventurist by J. Bradford Hipps.

Boulder Bookstore, Boulder CO: There’s a kid’s party from 1:00 to 3:00 with face painting, story time, bookmark making, and a scavenger hunt! But don’t worry, parents; the grownup party is from 3:00 to 5:00 with literary tattoos, a photo booth, adult coloring books, and adult stories from the store’s head buyer.

Page 1 Books, Albuquerque NM: The first 30 customers get a free muffin! But wait, there’s more: an all day sale of buy two books, get the third for a penny; a Curious George story time at 11:00 AM; a signing with Gerald Moore at 4:00, and more fun surprises!

Changing Hands, Tempe & Phoenix AZ: The acclaimed Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co., recently voted the Best New Brewery in the World, commandeers all four taps at the First Draft Book Bar, the wine and beer bar inside Changing Hands Phoenix. For one day only they’ll be pouring their award-winning Refuge IPA, Salt River Saison, Grapefruit Gose, and Superstition Coffee Stout. Bookstore Day never tasted so good! (Limit one filled growler per customer.)

At 10:00 AM in the Tempe store, Caldecott Honor-winning author and illustratorMolly Idle will be presenting her new picture book Flora and the Peacocks—and at 6:00 in Phoenix join Arizona Republic reporter Barbara VanDenburgh at First Draft Book Bar for a night of literary trivia. Your prize should you prove to be the biggest lit nerd? A Gertrude Stein stein. Seriously.


Cellar Door Books, Riverside CA: It’s a full day of events at Cellar Door Books, starting with a Sock Puppet Storytime Lab and Storytime Puppet Show; y’know, for the kids. Then there’s the Literary Luncheon, filled with treats pulled from your favorite books, followed by the Costume Contest and an opportunity for you to get a free book if you have skill as a bookseller. And since by then everyone will be ready to have a drink, the store will become a Book Club Speakeasy, with, yes, cocktails inspired by books. What more could you ask for?

Hicklebee’s, San Jose CA: The doors open at 10:00 at which time 12 limited edition books and book-inspired art go on sale. No reservations on these items – first come, first served. At 1:00 PM, there will be an epic draw-off between author/illustrators Mike Wu and Dave Keane. They’re also giving away prizes and doing mini-events throughout the day!

Skylight Books, Los Angeles, CA: Along with other special IBD merch, Skylight is selling a special, exclusive t-shirt collaboration between Otherwild and Carolyn Pennypacker-Riggs inspired by Rad American Women A-Z: Trailblazers, and Visionaries who Shaped History and Our Future. And starting at 2pm, Bouquet, Essence Harden, Jen Wang, Charlyne Yi and friends will be reading from Rad American Women and performing the song “X is For” from a special vinyl record which was created just for Independent Bookstore Day.  Side A features “X is For…,” an original alphabet song by Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs of Bouquet. Side B is a lively and poetic reading of the “X” chapter from the book featuring the voices of Angela Davis, Rebecca Solnit, Charlyne Yi, Alice Bag, Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman of the Call Your Girlfriend Podcast/Empire, and many more rad women! The record includes a poster with lyrics and chords, and free digital download instructions. Get weird/loud/sassy/soulful/rockful/thoughtful and come celebrate your love for independent bookstores the Skylight way!

Flintridge Bookstore & Coffeeshop, La Canada Flintridge CA: Locals will be treated to a pet-friendly slate of author appearances in conjunction with National Pet First Aid Awareness month. Plus, there will be therapy animals visiting, a pet first aid demonstration for children, as well as benefits for Operation School Bell and the Pasadena Humane Society. Headlining the day will be bestselling author Anne Perry, so if you like mysteries AND pets, you’re in luck.

Book Passage, Multiple locations, San Francisco CA: In order to make me incredibly jealous that I do not live in San Francisco, the good folks at Book Passage (Ferry Building location) will be serving treats all day from some of their favorite cookbooks, including: rosemary shortbread, butter almond cake, lemon slices with almond crust, and for your furry pal, peanut butter and carrot dog biscuits! There’ll be children’s events, a pre-celebration of the store’s 40th anniversary, and more; check out the rest of the day’s events at this and their Corte Madera location here.

The Booksmith, San Francisco CA: Print is dead! Long live print! In honor of the third annual Independent Bookstore Day, Booksmith is celebrating all things print. With their partners at Papa Llama, SF’s letter press, greeting cards, and printmaking gurus, we’ll have supplies on hand for you to catch up on with your pen pals for Letter Writing Saturdays, as well as printmaking demonstrations and activities for all ages from 12:00-3:00 PM. Featuring custom Booksmith swag (hint literary themed condoms) and sign-ups for our Book Club Rewards program for discounts on the day of and for the rest of the year.

Bookshop West Portal, San Francisco CA: Throughout the day, you can pick-a-discount or pick-a-prize! At 2:00 PM,  Christopher Moore will discuss in the courtyard his latest novel Secondhand Souls, and at 7:00, Caroline Paul (one of San Francisco’s first female firefighters) will discuss her new memoir The Gutsy Girl in the store. Plus discounts, prizes, limited edition items available on a first-come, first-served basis!

DIESEL: A Bookstore, Oakland CA:  In addition to IBD merch, the good people at DIESEL are selling juice! At 10:00 AM, their Big Kid / Little Kid Juice Stand will be serving juice for the kids and mimosas for the adults. Sugary “Good Morning” and “Welcome” for everybody. At 10:30, Katie Hites, Oakland local and author of Winnie & Waldorf, will kick-off their new series of Saturday Morning Storybook Times.

At 2:00 PM, there will be a C.D. Wright Appreciation & Release Party. The poet C.D. Wright was taken from us far too early and suddenly, and DIESEL will honor her and celebrate the release of her newest (and final) collection of poetry, ShallCross, with readings of her work by poetic peers such as Gillian Conoley, Joseph Lease, and Kit Schluter. If you like, come prepared with your own favorite piece written by C.D. And at 8:30 PM it’s a public screening of the weird, indispensable Wise Blood, John Huston’s 1979 film adaptation of Flannery O’Connor’s novel. Kick back. Have a drink. And get Southern Gothic!

Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz CA: Where to begin with the slate of amazing events? You can team up with Santa Cruz Shakespeare to practice your flowery insults. There’s a Walt Whitman flash mob. A pop-up museum that asks the question “What does independence mean to you?” All capped off with Literary Trivia Night (advance registration required!) Check out the full rundown of the day’s giveaways and events here.

Linden Tree Books, Los Altos CA: 30% off their entire inventory this Saturday only! (In-store and non-already-discounted items only.) What are you waiting for?



Keep an eye on the #seabookstoreday tag to follow what’s happening at Seattle-area bookstores this Saturday! And here’s how you can be a#seabookstoreday Indie Bookstore Champ: pick up a bookstore passport at any of the participating stores on or before April 30th. Visit 17 stores (There are 21 stores on the map, but you only need to visit one University Bookstore and one Third Place Books) on April 30th and get each store’s unique stamp on your passport. (Visit 3 stores to be entered in a drawing for fabulous prizes). Turn your passport in at the last store of your daytrip and be entered to be crowned an INDIE BOOKSTORE CHAMP and WIN 25% OFF ALL YEAR AT ALL PARTICIPATING BOOKSTORES. AMAZING.


On Saturday, Caitlin Baker of University Bookstore will be bringing her Melville House tote along as she embarks on a tour of 17 Seattle area stores. She’ll be riding in a car  accompanied by Emily Adams of Third Place Books and Shawn Donley of Powell’s Books, who was just named the new president of PNBA! Congrats to Shawn, and good luck to all three—bring insoles.

Elliott Bay Book Co., Seattle WA: This store is doing it up big, with an In-Store Zine and Poster Printing Press: Fogland Studios, a Seattle-based printing press, will set up an actual press in the store and make beautiful zines and posters that customers can purchase directly from them, after watching them being made. Then there’s a #DogsOfEbbco photo costume contest: Come one, come all, and bring your furry friends in their best outfits. This year, they’re holding a costume contest for dogs! Bring your dog to the Independent Bookstore Day booth in Elliott Bay Book Co. and let them take a picture and post it to their Twitter account, and at the end of the day, their followers will help pick a winner to receive a prize with treats for dogs and owners, both!

And there’s more: with Blind Date with a Book, every hour, on the hour, they’ll announce that it’s time to come to their booth and fight for your right to win a FREE BOOK. They’ll read you a brief description (no hints about the title ;)), and you tell us why you’d be a perfect match. Who knows? It could just be book-reader love. Plus, Local poet Meredith Clark will be their “Poem Oracle” for the day, creating unique poems for you after you select a mystery inspiration object.

Oregon Books & Games, Grants Pass OR: Festivities from 11-2! Barbecue (with cake!) Free raffle! Local Author Fair with 40(!!!) local authors! Discounts on every purchase! OREGON!!!

Annie Bloom’s Books, Portland OR: Annie Bloom’s will be celebrating all day long with scavenger hunts, a kids books recommendation station, and a poster where you can let us know which books have changed the way you see the world. Plus, you can join the national Literary Tattoo Chain!

Eagle Harbor Books, Bainbridge Island WA: Eagle Harbor Books on Bainbridge Island (a great place to start your #SEAbookstoreday/ IDB passport program) will hold hourly Literary Cupcake Walks. Find a spot on your favorite local author cover placed around the store — you’ll win a delicious cupcake and some serious literary swag! They’ll also be handing out an exclusive Hatter Madigan action comic to kids, and t-shirts and coffee mugs from our new digital audiobook partner, Libro.fm. Watch their Twitter for fun contests during the day, and their Facebook/Instagram for pictures of the festivities.

Liam O’Brien is the Senior Sales & Marketing Manager at Melville House, and a former bookseller.