Beyond Independent Bookstore Day | Fresh Reads

By David Brewster | May 03, 2018

On Saturday, April 28, Edmonds Bookshop, along with two dozen other Seattle area bookstores and over 500 bookstores around the U.S. and more in Canada, opened our doors to the fourth annual Independent Bookstore Day.

All over, the occasion was marked with high spirits, exclusive day-of merchandise, author visits, treats and other various and delightful activities. It is a special day of celebration and acknowledgement of the value independent bookstores provide to their patrons and communities.

Booksellers play many different roles inside and outside our stores.

We are multitaskers; we advocate for authors and reading; we provide a curated marketplace for publishers large and small; we are informed sources of local information and inspiration; we are civic boosters and collegial partners with fellow businesses; we provide safe spaces to explore, or retreat from the world for a few minutes; we are an important resource for educators; we put on events where readers of all ages and many interests can meet favorite authors and fellow fans.

As advocates for books and authors, independent bookstores defend free speech and can provide access through our inventory or via special orders to just about any book available.

Booksellers especially love to discuss and recommend books and authors, and our enthusiasm is always aimed at providing a positive reading experience.

Independent bookstores perform a very important role for book publishers by providing a marketplace for all kinds of books, including many that never reach a bestseller list or become loss leaders for other kinds of retailers.

Authors know this, and often express gratitude that their success is rooted in mom-and-pop bookstores all over the country. What we choose to carry in our stores is a reflection of personal taste and understanding of the local community’s interests.

Booksellers always know the best places to shop and dine in the neighborhood and are repositories of all kinds of local information and history.

We are happy to send a customer to another local business when we can’t meet her needs, and we are just as happy when another business sends someone our way. After all, we’re all in this together – the business of satisfying residents and tourists alike and leaving a good impression about our community.

We have a setting and atmosphere conducive to browsing, where reflection and contemplation are accepted behaviors and questions are welcome. No one should feel pressured in a bookstore, except maybe when we’re trying to close -- we all have lives outside the store. (Inset smile emoji here.)

Teachers and school librarians rely on us for information and access to books that are important to their curricula and collections, books that will reach into and brighten a young person’s mind, the better for all our future.

Our support often extends to selling books at outside events, participating in scholarship adjudications and other off-hours activities in support of education.

Edmonds Bookshop’s hosted events, including author appearances and poetry readings, along with the big party at the end of the annual Where’s Waldo search around town in July.

Speaking of Waldo, as many as 50 fellow businesses participated last summer in Edmonds, and welcomed new customers while the kids looked high and low for the iconic red-and-white-striped character.

This past Saturday, we greeted hundreds of bookstore fans on Independent Bookstore Day. In the Seattle area, readers were encouraged to visit all participating bookstores, to have their IBD passports stamped and thereby earn a year-long discount at all the stores.

It was a day of high spirits and happy energy.

Independent Bookstore Day is your local bookstore’s way to tip our hats in thanks to the community for your continuing support and patronage.




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