Get Out and Support Your Local Bookstore on April 29th!

In anticipation of Authors for Indies Day on Saturday, April 29, 2017, we spoke with coordinator Robin Rivers to learn more about this awesome initiative. We also discuss what sets independent bookstores apart from the big box stores.

1) What is Authors for Indies Day?

Authors For Indies Day is a Canada-wide celebration of independent booksellers. On Saturday, April 29, Canadians will be out celebrating our independent bookstores—along with the authors who love them—as part of the third annual Authors for Indies Day. On this day, authors across the country will volunteer at their local indies to greet customers, recommend books, and celebrate the vital role of independent bookstores in both the book industry and our communities. This year, independent bookstores from Victoria to Halifax are hosting nearly 600 authors who will be signing books, talking shop with avid readers, and lending their support to promote local bookstores.

2) Why is it important to support your local, independent bookstores?

Bestselling author Jennifer Robson, spokesperson for the event, explains best why it is important to support your local, independent bookseller. “In a world where big box stores and supermarkets carry a dozen or so bestsellers for a week or two, or perhaps a month if they’re feeling generous, local indie bookstores stock and hand-sell the books they love for far longer… I am profoundly indebted to independent bookstores for devoting shelf space and attention to my books, and to those of authors I love and revere, long after they have vanished from the bestseller lists.”

For book lovers, indie bookstores build community, make for great spots to hang out, celebrate literary diversity, and serve as that place where anyone can go and experience the stories of our lives as Canadians. They are the heart of the Canadian literary community.

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3) In your opinion, what is the primary benefit of shopping at an indie bookstore vs. a big box retailer?

For me, shopping at an indie bookstore is not just the act of buying a book, it is about nurturing the bonds that reading and storytelling create between people. When I walk into the bookstore a couple of blocks away from my house, I step through the door to meet up with friends. I know the booksellers by name, and they recognize me. They remember what my 11-year-old is reading and ask. They know my little one loves Ashley Spires and let me know with an e-mail whenever she has an event coming up. They get that I inhale historical fiction as fast as I can get my hands on it and set aside copies of new releases for me behind the counter. We chat about Karim Alrawi’s Book of Sands and Kate Hilton’s upcoming novel. It’s a rare occasion that I see anyone at a big box until I get to the counter to pay.

4) What can authors do to support their local, independent bookstores?

Participate in Authors For Indies Day, of course! Really, though, authors can support their local, independent bookstore by working with a bookseller when it comes time for their own book promotion and—more than anything—being an active part of that bookseller’s community all year long.

5) How can book lovers across Canada get involved in Authors for Indies Day?

Book lovers across Canada can find an event in their area by checking out authorsforindies.com.

For the latest news on Authors for Indies Day, follow them on Twitter at @Authors4indies.

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