On May 2, bookstores around the country celebrated the first Independent Bookstore Day. In Seattle, 17 bookstores banded together for Seattle Bookstore Day— a way to encourage readers to visit 3 or more bookstores with a SEABookstoreDay passport for a chance at prizes. People who visited all 17 stores on Independent Bookstore Day earned the title “Indie Bookstore Champ,” and with the title, a gold card granting the champion to a discount at all 17 participating bookstores for a year.
To get to all 17 stores, which included Eagle Harbor Books on Bainbridge Island and Liberty Bay Books in Poulsbo (ferry rides required), as far north as Edmonds Bookshop, plus Island Books on Mercer Island on a day that a lane of the highway was closed, Champions faced a minimum of 5 1/2 hours’ travel time under the best conditions. To the bookloving community’s great delight, 42 people completed the challenge to become Independent Bookstore Champions! On Saturday May 16, the Independent Bookstore Champions were invited to a celebration at Elliott Bay Book Company to receive their cards and a special surprise– crowns.
Third Place Books provided a cake. Many bookstores pitched in with sparkling wine and other beverages. University Book Store brought balloons and crowns, and their Pam Cady handled the coronation ceremony. Special thanks to Wendy Manning of Third Place Books for the photography.
Want to know what it takes to be an Independent Bookstore Champion? Some of the champs have posted their sagas:
- Catherine Bull, poet, and her amazing mom, Marianne
- Drunk Booksellers (who do get extra points in my mind for coming all the way from the east coast)
- Team Sasquatch, from Seattle publisher Sasquatch Books. Their team member Joyce designed the passports!
There is also a lot of fun to be had reading the #SEAbookstoreday twitter feed.
Do you have an Independent Bookstore Day story? Share with us!