Mark your calendars, readers: April 27 is Independent Bookstore Day. We’re celebrating by visiting as many indies as possible, and we know you’ll want to do the same. Some towns host their own bookstore crawl that readers can participate in, but if your city doesn’t have one, you can create your own with these tips!
Make a list of bookstores
It’s time to channel your inner Hermione. The first step in planning your bookstore crawl is to make a list of the bookstores in your area. Your favorite shop is a given, but be sure to check out neighboring towns to see if there are stores you haven’t heard of or visited.
Check events calendars
If you’re plagued by FOMO (fear of missing out), you’ll want to make sure you know about all of the great events happening nearby. Bookstores celebrate Independent Bookstore Day with author signings, cosplay contests, trivia, readings, and more! Take a look at the calendar of any store you plan to visit and take note of the times of any events you want to attend.
Plan your route
A journey begins with a single step, but first you have to decide where to start. Use the events you want to attend to help shape your path—especially any that are scheduled for specific times. From there, find a route that makes the most logistical sense to travel. If you aren’t tied to any events, consider getting creative and shaping your crawl based on other factors such as traveling from the oldest indie in your area to the newest.
Don’t forget to eat and hydrate
Think about this day as a literary marathon. You have a long way to travel and keeping your energy up is key. Make sure you have water and snacks (lembas bread comes to mind!). If your route is particularly long, plan a mid-crawl lunch break to rest and recharge.
Budget in advance
Buying books at your local indie is a win-win: You’re supporting bookstores and you’re giving yourself a great new read. But if you’re like us, you need to stick to a strict book budget to avoid spending your entire paycheck on your personal library. If you’re planning on patronizing a number of stores, consider creating a budget beforehand or even setting a limit on the number of books you’ll buy in each location.
Those books won’t carry themselves home. Don’t forget to bring along an empty backpack or tote bag to help you with your book haul. You may also want to pick up a branded tote at the bookstore!
Invite your friends
Your bookstore crawl is going to be epic, and you don’t want your fellow bookworms missing out. Let your friends know about your plans and see if they want to join. They may have some great additions to your route, and you can recommend books to each other at each stop.
Share the love
We know you’ll be snapping pictures all day long. Don’t forget to upload them to social media to encourage other readers to visit their local indies. Make sure to use the hashtag #bookstoreday and to tag the bookstores you visit so they can see how much you appreciate them!