This Saturday, April 29th, 23 area bookshops will be taking part in the third annual Seattle Independent Bookstore Day. You — being the discerning lover of literature and an ardent supporter of local businesses staffed by real, live humans that you are — don’t need me to tell you why independent bookstores are the motherfucking cultural glue that holds our entire city together. So you’ll obviously want to head out to your two or three favorite bookstores to buy a book or two, say hi, and enjoy some special events.
Also this Saturday, the most hardcore of you book-lovers will attempt to visit at least 19 of these 23 bookstores. This is an arduous journey, stretching from Poulsbo’s Liberty Bay Books to the Edmonds Bookshop to BookTree Kirkland and all Seattle’s neighborhood shops. It’s a difficult trip involving lots of traffic, sketchy parking, and a lot of planning, but those who succeed will get a 25 percent discount on every purchase at any of these stores for the whole year.
But say you can’t spend a whole day trekking from the stately Eagle Harbor Book Company on Bainbridge Island to the delightful Neverending Bookshop in Bothell. That’s okay! Participation in the marathon isn’t required; all you need to do is show up and make your appreciation known. Bookstores will be selling special available-for-one-day-only books from authors like Rainbow Rowell and Michael Chabon, along with literary condoms and a vinyl version of podcast sensation Welcome to Night Vale. And independent Seattle-based audiobook seller Libro.fm will be giving out free audiobooks — including one of David Foster Wallace’s very best essays, “A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again” — at participating locations.
Here are some special Seattle Independent Bookstore Day events you should know about:
Local restaurateurs Tom Douglas, Molly Wizenberg, and Heather Earnhardt will be doing special appearances with cooking demos (and samples) at Fremont’s Book Larder.
University Book Store will be hosting all sorts of events for kids, including maskmaking and storytimes and some sort of a balloon animal menagerie thing happening at 2:30 pm.
Seattle poet Meredith Clark will be stationed at Elliott Bay Book Company from 2 to 4 pm making erasures — that’s carving poems out of the existing text on a page of a preexisting book — for anyone who asks. Additionally, Fogland Studios will be operating a printing press in the middle of the store, publishing zines and posters while you wait.
Why aren’t there more cookbooks in comic book form? Comics are the perfect medium for cookbooks, visually walking readers through every step in the process of cooking eventhe most complex recipes. From 1 to 3 pm, Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery in Georgetown is hosting a release party for a new minicomic, the Northwest Cartoonists Cookbook, featuring recipes from a murderer’s row of Seattle cartooning talent including Ellen Forney, Marie Hausauer, David Lasky, Kelly Froh, Megan Kelso, Simon Hanselmann, Mita Mahato, and Colleen Frakes.
This is your day, literary Seattle. Go make it a good one.