Independent Bookstore Day: Why Supporting Local Bookstores Matters
Independent Bookstore Day (IBD) began in 2014 as a way to celebrate the value of independent bookstores across the country. This annual event is held on the last Saturday in April and promotes the charm and community impact of small, local book retailers.
Indie booksellers get the opportunity to showcase their unique character, book-related events, and special collections — bringing the community together. In honor of the special day, book retailers create engaging events to celebrate the joy of reading, like book signings by local authors, live music, puzzles, and games. Whether you’re an avid reader or just appreciate the cozy ambiance of a small bookstore, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Why Is IBD Important?
Independent bookstores face fierce competition for sales from online giants and massive chain stores. The increasing popularity of ebooks and digital book tablets has also impacted the foot traffic and book purchases their stores depend upon. By choosing to support independent bookstores, you’re not just sustaining their business but also preserving the character and culture of your community.
Independent bookshops are more than just booksellers – they’re also a creative focal point for the community, where people can gather for author events and book clubs, and connect with like-minded readers. These small businesses are typically run by passionate book lovers and members of the surrounding neighborhoods.
Small, local book retailers offer a personal touch that sets them apart from larger franchise chains. The owners and staff take pride in hand-selecting books that reflect the unique interests and culture of their community. Beyond just selling books, these businesses contribute to the personality of their neighborhoods, fostering a love of reading and appreciation for the arts that lasts a lifetime.
5 Easy Ways to Celebrate Independent Bookstore Day
On Independent Bookstore Day, indie stores offer special promotions and events to encourage people to come in and experience the magic of browsing through books.
IBD is an excellent opportunity to recognize the power of local bookshops and support small businesses. Virginia Highland Books is a neighborhood indie bookstore in the heart of Atlanta. They were voted Best of Atlanta Readers’ Choice by Atlanta Magazine multiple times and are a Business Community Network member. They’re a great place to find the next literary treasure, speak with staff about their recommendations, and spend some quiet time within your community. You can reach them at 470-819-4705 for their upcoming events.
To find an independent book retailer near you, visit the official Indie Bookstore Day website.
Here are five simple ways to show your support:
- Visit your local indie bookstore. What better way to celebrate the special atmosphere of an independent bookshop than to visit it in person? Take your time and browse the shelves, talk to the owner, and buy a book or two (or three…).
- Attend a literary event. Many independent bookstores will have special events, such as author readings, group book discussions, book signings, baked goods, live music, and promotional merchandise.
- Spread the word. Tell your friends and family about Independent Bookstore Day, and encourage them to visit their local indie bookshop. They may not be aware of IBD! Share your love of books and reading on social media using the hashtag #IndieBookstoreDay.
- Buy a book online. If you can’t visit the bookstore in person, buy a book from their website.
- Volunteer. Help support their business by donating your time and effort.
Support and Celebrate the Magic of Small, Independent Bookstores
Celebrating Independent Bookstore Day is the perfect opportunity to show your neighborhood bookseller some support and recognize the important role it plays in your community. Mark your calendar for the last Saturday in April and visit your neighborhood bookshop to peruse their shelves and discover some new literary gems. Buy a book, spread the word, and help these beloved independent stores stay afloat among the big chain retailers and online giants.
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