Independent Bookstore Day!

Screen Shot 2019-04-26 at 2.47.14 PMThis Saturday is one of my favorite days of the year!  It’s Independent Bookstore Day! Okay, I love the first snow of the year almost as much, and most holidays, and pizza nights…but you get my point 😉 This is a day to celebrate all things indie, visit your local bookstores, make purchases from local shops, put money back into your community, talk about the importance of independent bookstores, and celebrate all the reasons why local indies mean so much to you. I live in a great city, with a few fantastic independent bookstores, so I plan to visit those this year, but I was trying to think of other ways we can all celebrate the day! Here is a list of ways to show your love of independent bookstores on Saturday regardless of your location, ability, finances, work schedules, etc!

  1. Visit your local indie bookstore and put some money back into your community
  2. Order online from your closest independent bookstore! I always try to keep my dollars as close to me as possible. Here is a link to help.
  3. Follow some indie bookstores on social media and give them some love
  4. Check out Powell’s online (or MANY other bookstores that also have online shops) when your instinct is just to click on Amazon. I totally get it, Amazon serves a purpose, but sometimes Powells/other indie bookstores have fantastic deals and some sell used books too!
  5. Get a literary tattoo (this might be a stretch, but I love a good literary tattoo)
  6. Research your local indie for author visits/signings happening this year and get those dates on your calendars.
  7. Get online and talk about books with your fellow bookstagrammers. I’ll be hanging out in the world and always love to chat! (@bookishfolk) Use the hashtag #bookstoreday
  8. Plan to include local indie visits when you travel. There is literally nothing better than this in my humble opinion 🙂
  9. Leave reviews for your favorite independent bookstores on Yelp or FB
  10. Talk to your friends, in person, about books and local bookstores
  11. Bring your family/out of town visitors to your local bookstore
  12. Introduce a young person to the love of reading by bringing them a book or taking them to visit your local indie
  13. Start a book club. A lot of indie bookstores will give your club a discount on your book too
  14. If you listen to audiobooks, consider a subscription to Libro.fm. It’s a monthly subscription like audible, but the money goes to your local bookstore.
  15. If you can’t afford a book, that’s totally okay! Head to your local bookstore and grab a chocolate bar, a cup of coffee, a print, a pencil, bookmark, or anything else that you can afford. Every bit counts!

What really matters here folks is getting out, supporting your local indies any way you can and spreading the word that community matters, spending your dollars locally matters, and independent bookstores matter, not only on Saturday, but every day of the year! I hope you enjoy the day and please, let me know here or on Instagram, how you spent your day celebrating!

bookishfolk…read instead.

A Few of my Favorite Bookstores: IRL and on the Internet

I have always, always, always loved bookstores. When I was little, we mostly went to the library for our book browsing, but I can remember the magical moments when we got to go to a bookstore. Most of the time, I wasn’t going there to buy anything, but the browsing was top-notch, the book smells made me happy and the copious amounts of books with the potential to bring one home was enough to make me giddy. Plus…apparently my parents didn’t seem to think I was going to get into any trouble or stolen from a bookstore, so I had the independence to browse on my own, sit down and read in the aisles, and enjoy some first-time independence.

As I got older, I remember that same joy when I got to go to the the Scholastic book fair. If you’re reading this book blog…odds are you know EXACTLY what I’m talking about. This was book buying at it’s finest (to a 2nd grader at least). I would bring home that pamphlet with such pride and go through it probably 10 times before I got out the pencil and started circling and making decisions. I’d bring those circles of dreams to my mom and I usually got a few dollars to make them come true. Side note: how did a few dollars get me 2-3 books and a bookmark?!  They were basically giving books away at that price point, but I digress…

Then, when I finally became a working young adult, all hell broke loose. I had a paycheck and I was determined to spend 80-90% of it on books. Man…I miss those days when my only financial responsibilities were coffee purchases, snacks and books. And don’t even get me started on the days when I was old enough to have my own credit card.  The moral of the story is-I have always loved a bookstore. I have always valued books and writers and the idea that I could own a book as my very own. I have always found a peace inside a bookstore where books are a plenty, adventures are ready to be had, I’m surrounded by bookish, like-minded people…and the not so subtle smell of coffee is embedded in the walls.

Bookstores and libraries are truly my love language. So I thought it would be fun to take you on an adventure of some of my favorite bookstores in the US. Some I’ve been to, some I’ve only experienced through online purchases and/or Instagram…but all hold a special place in my heart.

Strand Bookstore (NYC)

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Books are Magic (NYC)

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Parnassus Books (Nashville, TN)

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Tattered Cover (Denver, CO)

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Literati (Ann Arbor, Michigan)

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Women and Children First (Chicago, IL)

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The Last Bookstore (Los Angeles, CA)

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Powell’s (Portland, OR)

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Boulder Bookstore (Boulder, CO)

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Unabridged Bookstore (Chicago, IL)

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Elliot Bay Book Company (Seattle, WA)

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Old Firehouse Books (Fort Collins, CO)

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Busboys and Poets (Washington, DC)

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Avid Bookstore (Athens, Georgia)

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City Lights Books (San Francisco, CA)

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There you have it! There are so many fantastic, independent bookstores in the US and I have a goal to visit them all! In the meantime, I’ll subtly stalk them on Instagram…and dream 🙂