Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Celebrating National Independent Bookseller Month

Here at Shrinking Violets, we have decided to set aside the month of May to honor and celebrate the phenomenal work of independent bookstores and booksellers around the country.

And, if that's news to you, don't feel bad-- this is the first official announcement of the event!

Robin and I are claiming the month of May to bring recognition and appreciation to independent booksellers' extraordinary work supporting reading and literature. We’ve checked the Chase Calendar of Days, and there’s not yet a designated celebration of them, which is just plain wrong. (Though there is a whole week set aside for appreciating dental plaque removal and jumprope-- not to worry, those two events don't occur together.)

Starting today, May 1, 2007, we are launching a parade of overdue recognition, and hope that our celebrations during 2007 and 2008 will land independent booksellers an official place in the Chase’s Calendar 2009.

Robin and I are taking ourselves on an Independent Bookseller Appreciation Tour for four days during the middle of May to visit as many sites as we can between Santa Barbara and San Diego. We plan to buy a book at each site--maybe yours--drop off a treat, and say a big thanks to their staff. We’ll finish our tour at one of our local incredible bookstores, Adventures for Kids, on Sunday, May 20th for a book signing.

But as much as Robin and I love books, we can’t do it alone. We need your help! Can you find some time in your busy month to visit an independent bookstore near you? Consider making it an Artist’s Date—what better way to fill the creative well than immersing yourself in a store full of books?

We also recognize that many of us are held to budgets, but perhaps skipping a Starbucks run will allow you to afford a paperback? Or a magazine? Or what about a birthday card for Aunt Nellie, whose 74th birthday is just around the corner? Or if you’re feeling very flush, and are interested in experiencing the Good Literacy Karma we talked about last week, consider buying a children’s book to donate to your school or public library.

We hope you'll consider taking a moment to tell the staff just how much you appreciate their efforts.* (If that feels hard, or outside your comfort zone, we understand. A smile works, too!)

Because we want everyone to be able to join in the fun, we have a number of activities planned! Check back soon for more ways you can become a part of this month-long celebration.

And, feel free to pass this announcement onto other lists or forums you might belong to, or other fellow book lovers. Let's get the word out. We love independent booksellers!

Thanks for joining us--
Mary and Robin

*Just a side note for any extroverted, book promoters out there—this is not the time to promote either yourself or your book, but rather just a simple thank you.


Heather Ayris Burnell said...

What a great idea! I do hope it becomes a well known event. Here's to independent booksellers everywhere.

Anonymous said...

Aw, shucks. You make this independent New England bookseller feel all warm & woolly inside. Thank you from the bottom of my woolly little heart!

Anonymous said...

Sincerest thanks from an independent bookstore in Wisconsin! We wish more people shared your enthusiasm!

Anonymous said...

Thank you, thank you from an idependent bookseller in Vermont! And just for the record, July is "Celebrate the Independents" month for many locally owned, independent business including local bookstores. It would be great to coordinate with AMIBA, American Intependent Business Alliance. Check them out at www.amiba.net/independents_week.html. Also many communities - such as ours in Vermont - are planning activities in July in coordination with our Local First organizations. Local First Vermont's website is www.localfirstvermont.org. Another organization that is active on this front is BALLE, the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, www.livingeconomies.org.

So let's celebrate and support the independent businesses now AND in July, and November, and August...

Anonymous said...

As a brand-new-to-the-fold independent children's bookstore, I'm delighted to find this support!

CJ Omololu said...

Great idea! I gave you a link and a shout out on my blog - let's keep it going.

April Halprin Wayland said...

Hi! Great idea! Did you know that you can apply to Chase's and create your own week? That's what The Children's Authors Network did several years ago. Children's Authors & Illustrators Week is the 1st week in February. You have to fill out some paperwork--but then it's in their book. You reapply each year, but it's pretty easy.

Thanks for spreading the word about our dear Indies.

April Halprin Wayland