This Saturday, April 30 is Independent Bookstore Day (IBD), the opportunity for readers of all genres and inclinations to show their appreciation and loyalty to non-corporate proprietors of that long tradition, the brick-and-mortar bookstore. Indie bookstores in the Hudson Valley region will be opening their doors to diehard customers who love the very idea of small-box stores, where they know that they can peruse the aisles, meet up with friends, get lost in “universes of ideas” and support local shopkeepers. Where gawking at the spines of books on shelves is encouraged. Where shop personnel are avid readers themselves and have friendly suggestions and recommendations.
From the IBD webpage: “Independent bookstores are not just stores, they’re community centers and local anchors run by passionate readers. They…contain the possibility of real serendipity. They are lively performance spaces and quiet places where aimless perusal is a day well-spent. Walking the aisles of a good bookstore means stumbling upon a novel from India that expands your heart. It’s encountering an art book that changes the direction of your life. It’s the joy of having a perfect stranger steer you toward the perfect book.”
So what are you waiting for? From the Spotty Dog Books & Ale on Warren Street in Hudson to the Golden Notebook in Woodstock, from the newly renovated Merritt Bookstore on Front Street in Millbrook to Oblong Books & Music in Millerton and Rhinebeck, the celebration is on.
The day is also all about rewarding loyal customers with treats and giveaways and exclusive merchandise, plus the chance to win discounts and engage in fun activities. For example, visitors to either Oblong Bookstore will be given the opportunity to win a bag of free books about to be released. To be eligible, customers must take a photo in the store and post it to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the tags #bookstoreday and @OblongBooks for a chance to win. Customers can go on a “Blind Date” with a book for charity and much more. Contact your favorite indie bookstore to find out what’s going on.
Perhaps best-selling author Ann Patchett – who co-rescued with publishing veteran Karen Hayes a dying indie bookstore in Nashville – says it best: “Consumers control the marketplace by deciding where to spend their money. If what a bookstore offers matters to you, then shop at a bookstore. If you feel that the experience of reading a book is valuable, then read the book. This is how we change the world: We grab hold of it. We change ourselves.”