This Saturday, April 29, 23 local bookshops will take part in Seattle Independent Bookstore Day. You—discerning lover of literature and ardent supporter of local businesses staffed by real, live neighbors that you are—don’t need me to tell you why independent bookstores are so important. So you’ll obviously want to head 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 book lovers will attempt to visit 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 journey involving lots of traffic, parking, and assorted driving woes, 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 OK! Participation in the marathon isn’t required; all you need to do is show up and make your appreciation known. Bookstores will sell special Independent Bookstore Day 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 give 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.
Special events you should know about:
*Local restaurateurs Tom Douglas, Molly Wizenberg, and Heather Earnhardt will make special appearances with cooking demos (and samples) at Fremont’s Book Larder.
* Seattle poet Meredith Clark will be stationed at Elliott Bay Book Company from 2 to 4 p.m. making erasures—carving poems out of the existing text on a page of a book—for anyone who asks.
* Why aren’t more cookbooks in comic-book form? Comics are the perfect medium for cookbooks, visually walking readers through every step in even complex recipes. From 1 to 3 p.m., Fantagraphics Bookstore and Gallery in Georgetown will host a release party for a new minicomic, the Northwest Cartoonists Cookbook, featuring recipes from a murderer’s row of Seattle talent, including Ellen Forney, Marie Hausauer, David Lasky, Kelly Froh, Megan Kelso, Simon Hanselmann, Mita Mahato, and Colleen Frakes. Various locations, facebook.com/SEABookstoreDay. Free. All ages. 10 a.m. Sat., April 29. Paul Constant is co-founder of The Seattle Review of Books. Read daily books coverage at seattlereviewofbooks.com.