Support Your Local Independent Bookstore on Independent Bookstore Day

Independent Bookstore Day celebrates its 10th anniversary on Saturday, April 29th
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Support Your Local Independent Bookstore on Independent Bookstore Day

Support Your Local Independent Bookstore on Independent Bookstore Day

It’s no secret that the market size of the global bookstore industry has been shrinking over the last 10 years or so, partly due to the popularity of e-books and increasing competition from online bookstores. It is also a fact that numerous bookstores were forced to close their doors in 2020, when many countries went into lockdown in an attempt to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Unfortunately, many of those independent stores struggled or failed to reopen, and the some that did reopen are still working to make a profit.  

For many bookstores, profits come primarily from the sale of books. Still, some have had to diversify to attract new customers and generate higher income. I have witnessed the creativity of bookstores in recent months–from those that have incorporated a café or bar into their location to increase both profits and footfall and encourage people to stay longer to those offering book signings, readings and even subscription book club services to build loyalty and create a connection and community. I’ve even witnessed creativity and diversity, with some bookstores hosting drawing or painting classes, poetry recitals, and even live music evenings. All these activities help to bring people into the store, but they do more than that: they place the store at the heart of the community. They become a hub, a gathering spot for like-minded souls and a place to meet friends, both old and new. 

Indie Bookstore Day  takes place across North America and Canada on the last Saturday in April each year. This year, it’s celebrating its 10th year in the U.S. on Saturday, April 29th with plans for many anniversary celebrations well underway. 

Many independent bookstores are integral in their communities and actively involved in events within their local neighbourhood. By participating in the events organized in your area, you are actively supporting local businesses and booksellers and helping to build a greater community. You are also recognizing and thanking them for their contribution to your neighbourhood. 

Every store participating will celebrate uniquely – from author readings, live music, food and drink, contests, and competitions. Here are details of a few of the bookstores from across Toronto and New York City that are participating in IBD 2023:

Book Club Bar, East Village, New York City – Check out their many monthly book-club subscriptions, author events, drinking & drawing socials, poetry series, night music acoustic series, and so much more.

Books of Wonder, Chelsea, New York City – A children’s bookstore established in 1980 celebrating IBD with more than 35 authors and artists. Click here for more event information.

Books Are Magic, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn – There are now two locations in Brooklyn where you join author talks, take out a monthly book subscription, pick up some branded merch, and even donate a book to Brooklyn Book Bodega with the mission of ensuring that all kids have access to books they want to read. 

Book City, Danforth, Toronto – First opening its doors in 1976 Book City now has stores in four locations across Toronto. Packed full of new and backlist titles and imported books, there’s always a bargain. Books can even be shipped across Toronto if you cannot get to the store. 

Flying Books, College Street, Toronto – A relative newbie offering a wide selection of books, classes, and events.  Classes range from fiction, poetry, journalism, writing for the internet and many more – you can even sponsor a class for a writer who cannot fund it themselves. Events include poetry readings and book launches, including the marvellous Margaret Atwood in March of this year. 

Why not check out your local independent bookstore and see their plans? We’d love for you to share details and photos with our community in the comments below.

Booksellers, influencers, and readers alike can find more information through the American Booksellers Association and the Canadian Independent Bookseller Association or Google your local bookstore to see how they will mark the occasion. You can also follow @AmericanBooksellers and @CIBAbooks on Instagram.

Jacqui Hodges

With 30 years of general management experience in the global insurance industry and having lived in 4 countries, Jacqui now spends her time between London and New York where she continues to pursue her passion for writing, food, books and travel.

A Reiki practitioner, yogi and huge animal advocate, her home isn’t complete without a furbaby or three. In addition to being a BooknBrunch contributor, she writes for  industry publications.

Favourite book: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
Favourite brunch dish: avocado toast with tomato and chilli


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