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Get ready to turn the page on Independent Bookstore Day!

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A celebration of independent bookstores is back again!

Independent Bookstore Day (or Indie Bookstore Day, if you like) began life in 2014 as California Bookstore Day before expanding into a more nationally-oriented event the following year.

IBD lands on the last Saturday in April – it’s April 30 this year. It’s a time when many bookstores will feature special items, author signings and other events as they participate in the festivities and embrace the joys of the indie bookseller. You can find out more at

If Independent Bookstore Day seems reminiscent of last weekend’s Record Store Day, there’s a very good reason for that. The initial California celebration was actually inspired by the ongoing success displayed by Record Store Day.

This year’s official Independent Bookstore Day ambassador is Angie Thomas, author of notable works such as “The Hate U Give” and “On the Come Up.”

If you’re looking to celebrate this year, there are some nearby indie bookstores that will be happy to share the joy with you. The Briar Patch in Bangor has assembled an IBD Book Lover package for customers that will feature a commemorative tote bag packed with exclusive goodies; it also includes a credit for in-store shopping. You can also pay a visit to hello hello books in Rockland, where they’re scheduled to have some IBD exclusives in house to celebrate the day.

(If you do go to one of those places, tell Gibran (BP) and/or Lacy (HH) that there are plenty of us out here who are grateful for what they do.)

Independent bookstores deserve their day in the sun. If you’re a reader, get out there and celebrate!


Books are important.

It can be easy for people to forget that, especially in a world filled with content-laden screens clamoring for your attention. And while there are plenty of benefits to such a world, one of the downsides is the gradual disappearance of the physical book.

Or rather, it almost was.

There was a period not long ago when it looked like the era of the bookstore as a viable entity was coming to an end. The advent of online retailers and e-readers marked distinct shifts both in how books were purchased and how they were consumed. And many booksellers – from massive chains down to neighborhood shops – were unable to adapt and so fell by the wayside.

And then, of course, there was the initial impact of and continuing struggle due to the circumstances of the pandemic. Like all small businesses, independent bookstores took a significant hit over the last couple of years. Events like IBD are a great way to shine a light on the work that these booksellers have done and continue to do to bring the joy of reading into our lives.

Independent bookstores have shown a remarkable resilience. They have weathered storms of all shapes and sizes and remain as significant cultural and commercial touchstones in their respective cities. They serve a vital purpose in a community. It hasn’t been easy on them, but hey – if it was easy, everyone would do it.

Bookstores are important.


Books are important.

I’ve always loved being in a bookstore. Wandering the aisles, scanning scores of spines and wondering if something will catch your eye. Hoping that something will catch your eye.

While it’s tough to argue against certain conveniences brought about by developments in technology, there’s still no tech to replicate the feeling of a holding a book in your hands. You can’t feel its weight or riffle its pages when it’s on a screen or being listened to through earbuds or a speaker. That’s not a knock on e-books or audiobooks, btw – reading is reading, however you choose to do it.

That said, the tactile aspects of reading still hold a lot of appeal, at least to me.

Confession time: I was a full-on bookstore loiterer when I was younger. I didn’t want to go to the places that most of my peers wanted to go. I wanted to go and spend hours looking at books; I loved them.

Still do.

(None of this is possible, by the way, without plenty of complicit bookstore employees and owners. There were a lot – and I mean a LOT – of bookstore folks who happily looked the other way as a kid hung around for hours and then left without buying anything more often than not. Because bookstore folks love books, too – and they can smell their own. I don’t remember your names – if I ever knew them – but I’ll always be grateful for your understanding.)

And while I don’t spend as much time doing that as I used to, for all sorts of reasons, I still have nothing but fond memories. The sounds, the smells – I relished it all. I never worried about belonging when I was at a bookstore, because I already did.

Bookstores are important.


Whether you head out on this Independent Bookstore Day or just drop in any old time during the year’s 364 others, pay a visit to your local independent bookstore. Books are important – and so are the many small businesses that sell them.

“Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?” – Henry Ward Beecher

Last modified on Wednesday, 27 April 2022 05:29


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