Independent Bookstore Day is just around the corner! My mother and I will be spending the entire day reveling in Seattle’s bookstore treasures, OF COURSE!*
We’re mixing it up this year, however, and skipping the full 21-store challenge in favor of visiting fewer stores but spending longer enjoying each. And having time to stop and have a cappuccino perhaps!*
*(This was the subject of much back-and-forth—how we wanted to celebrate Bookstore Day this year—not a quick decision to be sure, but we’re both really looking forward to our plan for 2019.)
I am SO excited about our upcoming day together, which will entail spending a full day browsing at 10 stores with the leisure to enjoy all the party activities each store has to offer.
The camaraderie of all the readers and booksellers on Bookstore Day just can’t be beat, and seeing strangers with a Bookstore Day passport in their hand is like seeing a friend, every time. And I hope we’ll run into our many Bookstore Day acquaintances from years past. And then of course walking into a favorite bookstore is like seeing a friend too. So much to look forward to!
But first: preparation! Our spreadsheet* is made, even for 10 stores only you bet it is.
*(The tippiest-toppest pro tip I can give you: make a spreadsheet of bookstores in the order you’ll visit them, the times the bookstores open and close, how long it takes to get from one to the next, etc. It will help you be less stressed and stay on track if you’re doing the whole challenge! Thanks as always to my friend Le’a for creating our first route spreadsheet for us and making our lives so much easier in 2015.)
We’ve each approached preparation re: books differently each year. My mom usually has a specific list, and if she doesn’t, she has a list of people in mind to buy books for. The first year, I totally had a list of books I wanted to buy all ready. The 2nd and 3rd years I didn’t have time to get all that together, so relied instead on the Staff Recommends shelves* at each store**, and last year I went with choosing specific sections to peruse during the short time we had at different stores.
*(I have had SUCH great luck finding books I loved via the Staff Recommends shelves.)
**(One of the fun things about going to so many bookstores in one day is how different each store’s Staff Recommends shelves are. Each store has their own flavor when it comes to what the booksellers like, and it’s one of the things that makes each bookstore such a different and rich experience to visit.)
This year, since it occurred to me recently that I’ve been keeping a list of books I’ve read for TWENTY YEARS now, I’m going to go back through that notebook and see what jumps out at me as being the very best/most memorable reads. I’ll be taking a list of those authors with me to see if they have new books out, and/or to ask for recommendations of other authors/books I might enjoy.
However you go about Independent Bookstore Day in Seattle — the full challenge , a handful of stores, just one neighborhood favorite spot — with a list, wandering about waiting for a book to jump out at you, etc. — I hope to see you out there! If you live somewhere else, check out your local Independent Bookstore Day info here and here and here.