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Independent Bookstore Day: May 2nd

May 2nd is Independent Bookstore Day! I love visiting independent bookstores. To me, there’s no comparison between a neighborhood bookstore where the owners know your tastes and the big impersonal box stores. And while Amazon is convenient, I much prefer exploring (and financially supporting) the nooks and crannies of my favorite indie book store.

In honor of Independent Bookstore Day, I’ve decided to: a) read and review My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop edited by Ronald Rice; and b) highlight a few events happening around the world celebrating this day. Will you be supporting your local bookstore this May 2nd?


My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop. Edited by Ronald Rice and Booksellers Across America.
Published in: 2012
Reviewed by: Jen
Rating: 3.5 stars
Find it/buy it here:My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop

My Bookstore is a collection of short essays written by a over 70 writers As the title of this collection describes, each author dedicates his or her chapter to a bookstore they love. Contributors include Isabel Allende, Timothy Egan, Dave Eggers, Louise Erdrich, John Grisham, Ann Hood, Chuck Palahniuk, Tom Robbins, and Abraham Verghese.

I picked up a copy of this book for $1 at my local library and wasn’t expecting too much. Surprisingly, it was quite engaging and interesting. I enjoyed reading about some of the personal stories these authors shared about their favorite stores. Some of these independent bookstores really play huge roles in their communities: sponsoring writing workshops and classes, author presentations and signings, running first edition websites that ship across the country, and so on. The book features bookstores all across the United States.

Events on May 2nd

Over 400 bookstores in the U.S. will be participating in International Bookstores Day on May 2nd. To find a bookstore near you, check out the following website: Below are some highlights across the country.

Booksmith in San Francisco is transforming their store into a Mad Tea Party. Art by Sean Chiki, activities, music, and tea leaf readings.

12 Chicago-area bookstores are teaming up to provide book activities, author visits, raffles, special sales, booked goods, and refreshments. Also lucky customers will have a chance to travel from store to store collecting illustrated pages from an unreleased Stuart Dybek story. Those who visit all 12 stores will be able to collect a completed version of the story. It was illustrated by Dmitry Samarov specifically for this event. A schedule of events can be found here.

Porter Square Books in Cambridge will host bookstore scavenger hunts, demonstrations, and offer special limited-edition posters, books and broadsides.

New York City
New York bookstores will be hosting trivia events, giveaways, author interviews, and more. See the full list of participating bookstores here. The day will conclude with an After Party at Powerhouse Arena in DUMBO at 9pm.

North Carolina:
Flyleaf Books in Chapel Hill: Author Jeremy Hawkins will be leading a writing workshop and craft talk for writers of all levels.

Washington (Seattle):
17 Seattle-area independent  bookstores will be hosing the Indie bookstore challenge. Customers can pick up a bookstore passport from any participating store then have it stamped at all the 17 stores in order to win a year-long 25% discount at all participating stores. Other prizes including gift certificates, signed books, and more will be handed out. More information about this event can be fount on their Facebook page: here

Do you have a favorite indie bookstore? Tell us why it is so special.