Puget Sound bibliophiles should mark April 29 in their calendars for a challenge unlike any other.
The day marks Independent Bookstore Day, and to celebrate, local shops throughout the area are participating in the Indie Bookstore Challenge. For the challenge, book lovers must visit 19 of the participating stores and get corresponding stamps on a passport that can be picked up at any of the locations.
Those who accept the challenge will be rightfully rewarded with a 25 percent off discount at all participating stores for an entire year.
The participating stores include The Neverending Bookshop in Bothell, BookTree Kirkland, Ada’s Technical Books, Book Larder, Eagle Harbor Books, Edmonds Bookshop, Elliott Bay Book Co., Fantagraphics Books, Island Books, Magnolia’s Bookstore, Open Books: A Poem Emporium, Phinney Books, Queen Anne Book Company, Seattle Mystery Bookshop, Secret Garden Books, The Traveler and all locations of Liberty Bay Books, Third Place Books and the University Book Store.
“Seattle is just such a bookstore-laden city,” Annie Carl, owner of The Neverending Bookshop, said. “We love our bookstores and authors and literature here.”
If the experience of stopping at 19 bookstores in one day seems a little too cumbersome, those who get three or more stamps will be entered to win bookstore gift cards.
This is the first year The Neverending Bookshop is participating, and Carl is excited about having a day set aside to celebrate independent bookstores.
“They’re part of the foundation of a community,” she said. “They’re not just retail spots that sell books … they’re community meeting spaces. … You definitely don’t get that online.”
BookTree co-owner Chris Jarmick is also excited about celebrating his store’s first Independent Bookstore Day.
“Most independent bookstores I know are very attuned to their customers,” he said. “The booksellers and people who work there are really into books. … You’re going to find people that live and breathe books.”
In addition to participating in the challenge, the bookstores will also have individual events including author appearances and signings, trivia and other games. Carl plans to have a henna artist available for visitors to get book-themed henna.
“It’s going to be awesome,” Carl said of Independent Bookstore Day.
Find out more about The Neverending Bookshop at theneverendingbookshop.com and BookTree at booktreekirkland.com. For more information about the national Independent Bookstore Day, visit indiebookstoreday.com. More information about the Seattle-area event can be found at facebook.com/SEABookstoreDay.