“For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth.”
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird
This Saturday, May 2, is Independent Bookstore Day. So put on your dancing shoes and get thee to thy nearest independent bookstore and celebrate by buying a book or two or three — or an indie-inspired tote bag or set of literary tea towels. There’s plenty of good news to hoist a glass to. The buy-local movement is boosting bookstores everywhere.
In 2009, the American Booksellers Association’s membership fell below 1500. But indies rebounded and over the past six years, the number of these intrepid ventures has actually increased by 25 percent. To celebrate, some 400 bookstores coast to coast are planning book events, from entertainment and book talks to food fests. And many of the stores will also be selling a host of specially designed literarily inspired merchandise, including colorful Indie-inspired tote bags and tea towels with humorous author quotes.
Watchung Booksellers, my hometown of Montclair’s beloved local indie, is a shining example of all that makes independent bookstores so special and creative: wonderful personal service, a book-loving staff, inspiring events, author book signings, loads of popular book clubs, and boundless community spirit. Browsing its shelves, ordering books, chatting with the friends I meet there, and getting expert advice from intrepid owner Margo Sage-EL and her enthusiastic team add so much joy to my day!
Given its entrepreneurial spirit, it’s no surprise then, that Watchung Booksellers is celebrating the resurgence of indies in style, with fun activities for kids, a book discussion, a “Blind Date with a Book” brown-bag lottery, and sales of adorable Roz Chast bags created especially to celebrate indie power.
So whether you’re in Montclair, Washington, D.C., Houston, or San Francisco, why not visit your favorite indie this Saturday, celebrate, and write on!