Independent Bookstore Day

(4.29) Independent bookstores seem to have survived competition from a certain online behemoth (whose name will never appear here) as well as the Covid lockdown. The New York Times reported last year:

Two years ago, the future of independent book selling looked bleak. As the coronavirus forced retailers to shut down, hundreds of small booksellers around the United States seemed doomed. Bookstore sales fell nearly 30 percent in 2020, U.S. Census Bureau data showed. The publishing industry was braced for a blow to its retail ecosystem, one that could permanently reshape the way readers discover and buy books.

Instead, something unexpected happened: Small booksellers not only survived the pandemic, but many are thriving.

To which we say HOORAY! So let’s celebrate Independent Bookstore Day here in Providence with visits to Rifffraff Bookstore on Valley Street, Symposium Books downtown, Twenty Stories on Ives Street, and Books on the Square on Angell Street in Wayland Square. Here is a rundown. (Alas, we have since lost Cellar Stories.)

Books on the Square has a full day of special activities on tap: kids stuff and story time, raffles, literary trivia, bookstore bingo, blind date with a book, and from 5pm to 8pm, the What Cheer DJs will spin vinyl for the adult book fans. And what is a blind date with a book?

The store gets advanced reading copies of books, but they can only read so many. So they wrap up the extras, write a short synopsis on the outside of each book, and people get to pick a book based on that synopsis. It could be a recent popular release or something more obscure.

If you want a bookstore in your neighborhood, you have to shop at the bookstore in your neighborhood.

[Thank you commenter. I am happy to add Heartleaf Books on Atwells Avenue!)

Bookstore Day, Saturday, April 29


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