Ten years ago, the death knell of independent bookstores was falsely rung. First, it was the big box chains that swept through and drove competition. Then it was the financial collapse of 2008, and most damaging, the rise of Amazon and online shopping. Today, there are more independent bookstores in both Minnesota and the nation than ten years ago, and we are thriving. On top of that fantastic news, print sales have begun to out pace the plateauing sales of e-books.
There are a variety of factors that play into the resurgence of the independent bookstore. The smell of ink on paper, knowledgeable and friendly staff who are passionate about the power of words, and, I believe most importantly, a welcoming community that exists in the physical world as opposed to online comment sections.
Independent Bookstore Day was created in part as a celebration of our resiliency. It is a day to celebrate the places where discovery, curiosity, and community exist. But I believe that Independent Bookstore Day is a celebration of you. The loyal and passionate readers who have supported us through the years. This day is a celebration of the things we love, books and friends.
So, in honor of Indie Bookstores and the people who keep the fires burning, we are throwing a party. In the morning, we'll have coffee and donuts for those who swing through to say hello. In the early afternoon, we'll have live music from Brian and Sherry Barnes. And in the evening, we'll have snacks and bevvies for you while you browse the stacks. We will also have exclusive Independent Bookstore Day products including signed Werner Herzog broadsides, a (!!!!) Neil Gaiman coloring book (!!!!), and more.
We hope that you will come out and celebrate with us on this special day. There is still lots more programming to come for #IBD2016 so stay tuned to our social media (especially our Instagram [@subtextbooks], as it is my favorite), and look out for our newsletter coming in early April.
Read on, y'all, read on.
Our plan for the day:
9-10 Exclusive Indie Bookstore Day products (!!! Neil Gaiman Coloring Book !!!) go on sale. We will also have coffee and donuts.
10-11 Children's story time with Bookseller Matt
12-2 Brian and Sherry Barnes play live acoustic music.
3-4 Özge Samanci, assistant professor at Northwestern University will present her graphic memoir, Dare to Disappoint. Her book received a Kirkus starred review and is a coming-of-age story, for readers grades 6 and up (adults too!) that discusses issues of her family's emigration from Turkey, self-creation, interfaith dialogue, and challenges the reader to make art.
6-7 Lizzie Davis, editorial assistant at Coffee House Press, amazing poet and musician, and all-around badass, will be playing music for us. (PS: I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS SHE IS INCREDIBLY TALENTED)
We are also partnering with other bookstores in the Twin Cities to celebrate #IBD2016:
Visit each of the stores featured in our Independent Bookstore Daypassport and request a stamp. Collect all 10 stamps, take a picture of your completed stamps page, and tweet it to @MidwestBooks to receive a $10 gift certificate from all 10 participating stores. Visit 5 or more stores and receive a free bookstore poster by Kevin Cannon.