Chicago will be home to an Independent Bookstore Day

Nine indie stores so far have teamed up to hold a Chicago Independent Bookstore Day this July.

Ann Hermes
The Book Cellar (pictured) is one of the stores participating in Chicago Independent Bookstore Day.

After California Bookstore Day celebrated the independent bookstores of the Golden State, stores in the city of Chicago has taken up the idea.

Nine indie bookstores so far will be holding a Chicago Independent Bookstore Day on July 12, according to Publishers Weekly. Stefan Moorehead, a worker at Chicago’s Unabridged Books, told PW that he heard from New York's Housing Works Bookstore director of public programming Amanda Bullock about how Housing Works had teamed up with McNally Jackson Books to hold special events. Then he heard about how California celebrated by offering readings, special events, and promotions and was even more enthused. 

“We need to do something, “ Moorehead said. “Our hope is that this year will be successful and we can branch out next year and make it a Chicagoland bookstore day, or even bring in the Great Lakes [Independent] Booksellers Association. The Platonic ideal is that next year we’d have a nationwide independent bookstore day.”

The indie stores will be participating in the celebration by offering such specialties as refreshments, free books, and events. In addition, those who visit the stores will get puzzle pieces at each that assemble into a print by artist Lilli Carré. Patrons will have until Aug. 3 to gather all the pieces and must spend at least $25 to get the first set of pieces.

To see which stores are participating, check out the Chicago Independent Bookstore Day website here.

California Bookstore Day was held on May 3 and many staff members of participating stores said they received many visitors and did well financially on the day – according to executive director of Northern California Independent Booksellers Association Hut Landon and executive director of the Southern California Independent Booksellers Association Andrea Vuleta, every store whom they spoke with reported an increase in sales from the same day the year before.

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