More than 400 bookstores around the country will participate in Independent Bookstore Day Saturday.
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By Kerry Close
April 29, 2016

After Amazon earnings blew analyst expectations out of the water Thursday, brick-and-mortar bookstores may be preparing their counterattack—in the form of deals for Independent Bookstore Day on Saturday.

Inspired by Record Store Day, the second-annual event was created to drive traffic into independent bookstores, Publisher’s Weekly reported. More than 400 bookstores nationwide will offer promotions like music, food, drinks, readings, and scavenger hunts, and some will even offer exclusives available only at independent bookstores, including The Neil Gaiman Coloring Book, a set of essays by Ann Patchett, and an illustrated print signed by Anthony Bourdain with instructions on making the perfect burger.

If you’re a book lover who’s lucky enough to live in a city with participating bookstores, be sure to check out these bookish events this weekend:

  • Seattle: Readers in the Pacific Northwest will have the chance to become “Indie Bookstore Champions” if they spend Saturday visiting 17 participating locations, and will earn a 25% discount at each store all year.
  • Minneapolis: Similarly, in the Twin Cities, participants can earn a $10 gift card to 10 local bookstores if they check in at them all on Independent Bookstore Day.
  • Los Angeles: Chevalier’s Books will offer free, removable literary tattoos for grownups, while the Library Store will provide free tattoos and coloring pages for kids. Here’s the Los Angeles Times full list of LA bookstores participating in the Day.
  • New York: The Upper West Side’s Book Culture (on Broadway) will host a happy hour from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. with literary-themed cocktails, Time Out New York reported. The Community Bookstore in Park Slope will give out free beer in the afternoon and host a reading with writers Bill Corbett, Paul Auster and Felix Harr. If you have more of a sweet tooth, don’t miss the Brooklyn Bookstore Crawl, which enters you in a lottery to win prizes if you visit five or more shops, complete a task at each one and post it to social media with the hashtag #bkbookstorecrawl.
  • Cleveland: In the Forest City, Cleveland.com reports that local store Appletree Books will sell keepsake bookmarks designed by local artists, while Loganberry Books will assemble prize baskets for voracious readers who check in at nine local bookshops.
  • New Jersey: Watchung Booksellers in Montclair, N.J. has worked to create a New Jersey Independent Bookstore Map bookmark, which will be available at more than 20 stores throughout the state. The bookmark is supposed to prove wrong the apparently common notion that the Garden State lacks great independent bookstores. Meanwhile, the Bookworm in Bernardsville will serve “coffee and treats” in the morning, followed by homemade items based on recipes from cookbooks in stock throughout the day.
  • San Francisco: Green Apple Books, where Independent Bookstore Day was first conceived as “California Book Store Day” in 2014, will give away free beer and prizes like a gift card to the Inner Sunset store. Green Apple Books on the Park is also hosting a book swap with McSweeney’s in Golden Gate Park.

Don’t see your city here? For a complete list of bookstores nationwide offering everything from free fly-fishing lessons (at Fireside Books in Plamer, Alaska) to free mini-doughnuts (at Brooklyn’s Greenlight Bookstore), visit the Independent Bookstore Day website.

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