April 29 is Independent Bookstore Day! This annual celebration is an opportunity to celebrate and support independent bookshops across the United States — both online and in your community.
Book lovers of all stripes know the power of finding a new favorite read, spending hours sifting through shelves to find a story (or, like, dozens of stories) that pique your interest and teach you something new.
Perhaps a bookseller will provide recommendations, or there will be a cozy corner to duck into once you’ve found your next novel. That kind of magic just doesn’t happen on Amazon.
Local independent bookstores are essential community hubs and serve as inclusive and welcoming spaces for people of all backgrounds. Many indie bookshops take on the role of a town square, offering events, discussions, and connections that bring together communities of all ages.
Even if books aren’t your thing (you just haven’t found the right one; it’s fine), independent bookstores can be great places to discover other finds, like art, gifts, and other creative supplies, so you’re bound to find something you love.
Independent Bookstore Day started in 2013, making 2023 the 10-year anniversary of the annual event. That makes this year even more special, so bust out those TBR lists, grab a buddy, and get to your local bookstore!
While it’s important to learn more about and uplift independent bookstores all year long, it’s helpful to have somewhere to start. We’ve created a guide on how to celebrate Independent Bookstore Day this year.
By the way, some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thank you!
Activities and Ideas: How To Celebrate Independent Bookstore Day
Find your local independent bookstores.
Your community almost certainly has an independent bookstore. In fact, it probably has several. One of the best ways you can celebrate Independent Bookstore Day is to look up the indie booksellers in your community!
Whether you visit them in-person this weekend or not, knowing what they are will make it so much easier for you to visit, support, and recommend them throughout the rest of the year!
→ Simply Google ‘independent bookstore’ or visit IndieBound’s indie bookstore finder
Attend a local event at a bookstore.
Independent Bookstore Day is essentially a nationwide party that takes place at thousands of independent bookstores in all 50 states.
Events range from author meet-and-greets and live music to children’s events and block parties. Plus, many bookstores are offering limited-edition products, books, and gifts!
→ Explore a full list of state-by-state celebrations to find an event near you via BookRiot’s event guide.
Set up Bookshop.org to support your favorite local, independent bookstore.
Bookshop.org was founded in 2020 as a way to connect readers with independent booksellers around the world.
It’s challenging for a local bookseller to build and manage an e-commerce store that competes with Amazon — so Bookshop.org makes it easy for readers to buy books online without giving money to Jeff Bezos’ trillion dollar corporation.
Create an account with Bookshop.org and then pick out any independent bookstore you’d like to support.
Every time you order a book, your order will be fulfilled by Bookshop.org’s distributor and then the full profit from your purchase will go directly to your chosen bookstore!
(If you don’t select a bookstore, the profits from your purchases will be shared among all independent bookstores on the platform, so that’s still a win, too.)
→ Take a moment to familiarize yourself with Bookshop.org and then pick which independent bookstore you want to support.
Switch to Libro.fm for audiobooks.
Are you an audiobook lover? Regardless, you’re ou probably familiar with Audible — Amazon’s audiobook platform that critics say is harmful to the book industry.
Independent Bookstore Day is the perfect opportunity to try out Libro.fm — an ethical audiobook platform that supports an independent bookstore of your choosing every time you download a new audiobook!
Libro.fm works just like Audible in that most users subscribe for monthly credits. (Basically the same price as Audible!) You can then use those credits to get any audiobook you want.
The app works great, their audiobook selection is delightful — plus they have the added perks of being able to fill their Discover page with actual recommendations from indie booksellers with fantastic taste and every purchase supports a local bookshop!
→ Sign up for Libro.fm (and get a bonus audiobook of your choice for free with our code GOOD)
Consider Amazon alternatives for book shopping.
Amazon makes it easy to shop — but their (unsustainably) low costs and fast shipping actually harm the book industry, authors, Amazon workers, and the environment.
We’re just saying, it can be hard to kick back and relax with a good book when you don’t really agree with how it got to you in the first place.
There are so many amazing alternatives and Independent Bookstore Day is the perfect opportunity to explore them.
→ Check out the best online Amazon alternatives for books
Buy books from independent bookstores.
Last but not least, today is a great day to buy a new book (or 20!) from an independent bookstore! Whether you do it online or IRL, know that it makes a difference for the bookstore, its employees, and your community.
And is there any greater serotonin boost than a fresh stack of books?
While you’re at it, consider telling a friend or posting on social media. The more people getting involved, the better!
→ Explore Good Good Good’s favorite books of the last year
Frequently Asked Questions
What defines an independent bookstore?
An independent bookstore is a privately-owned shop, not linked to any big chains. They offer a unique and curated selection of books, often cater to local interests, and provide personalized customer service — creating a sense of community among book enthusiasts in the community.
What’s the largest independently owned bookstore in the world?
The world’s largest independent bookstore is none other than Powell’s City of Books, located in Portland, Oregon. Taking up an entire city block with its multi-story building, the shop offers a vast collection of over one million books — both new and used.
Where can I find 2023 Independent Bookstore Day merchandise?
The American Booksellers Association creates exclusive merch ahead of Independent Bookstore Day, but these products can only be ordered by booksellers. Your best bet will be to visit your local participating bookstore early on Saturday to see if they’re gifting or selling some of these items.
Independent Bookstore Day is also selling official apparel on Bonfire, available online for a limited time.
When is Independent Bookstore Day?
Every year, Independent Bookstore Day is celebrated on the final Saturday of April.