As much as I appreciate online deals for my coloring books, I do love independent bookstores. There I can meet other fans in the coloring book aisle, socialize about our experiences and favorites, and revel in being able to check the quality and content in a coloring book before I buy it. I know the owner of the bookstore has taken great care in choosing which books to stock and can probably recommend a great one just for me.
So I am glad to be telling you about this year’s Independent Bookstore Day!
On Saturday, April 30th, 435 independent bookstores around the U.S. are celebrating their roles as community hubs. Participating bookstores will have special events, guest authors/booksellers, exclusive merchandise, giveaways and prizes, and a chance to connect with your community. Exclusive merchandise will also be available at some of the stores, including limited-edition books, literary art pieces unavailable anywhere else, and the long-awaited Neil Gaiman Coloring Book.
Many stores will also be hosting entertaining activities. Some examples of the fun around the country:
- Fireside Books in Palmer, Alaska, will give 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.
- Author Ambassador Lauren Groff (Fates and Furies) will appear with other authors at her local bookstore, Wild Iris in Gainesville, Fla.
- Mary Roach (Gulp, Stiff, Spook…) will hold 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).
- Seattle-area bookstores have come together to give a one-year 25% discount to anyone who visits all 17 participating bookstores in the city on April 30th.
- In the Twin Cities, those who visit ten participating bookstores on IBD will receive a $10 gift card to each store.
And don’t despair if you live in Canada: Independent booksellers there will also be celebrating April 30th as the second annual Canadian Authors for Indies Day . Like its U.S. counterpart, Authors for Indies Day focuses on the importance of independent booksellers to their communities. Hundreds of authors have volunteered as guest booksellers.
Adria Iwasutiak from Simon & Schuster Canada told me that “…independent bookstores have been great supporters of the adult colouring … There are often dedicated sections, and we are seeing many editions at the front of store near the cash that drive impulse purchases. People love to shop in store for gifts in particular, so as we near Mother’s Day and graduation time, we are confident that the independents will see lots of colouring books added to people’s purchases. You may not go into the store looking for one, but what a perfect complement to a gift for others or yourself!”
Note that Simon & Schuster, who publishes an excellent selection of coloring books for adults and children (including one of my faves The Little Book of Calm Coloring ), has facilitated some popular colouring events. Most recently they provided some coloring books to The Spoke Club in Toronto and the club provided drinks. They plan to book something again in the summer months.
So on April 30, do something wonderful: Shop at an independent bookstore!