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Where to Celebrate Independent Bookstore Day This Saturday

By Nicole Levy | April 28, 2016 10:02am
 The Greenlight Bookstore in Fort Greene is one of several independent bookstores in New York City holding events this Saturday.
The Greenlight Bookstore in Fort Greene is one of several independent bookstores in New York City holding events this Saturday.
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DNAinfo/Rachel Holliday Smith

Shelve that gloomy story we've all heard about the slow demise of independent bookstores at the hands of Amazon and rising rents, and celebrate their survival instead this Saturday, which marks the third annual Independent Bookstore Day.

Coordinated by the Northern Californian Independent Booksellers Association, the event celebrates books, readers and independent booksellers.

On April 30, participating bookstores will sell limited-edition books and literary art pieces unavailable anywhere else, including an illustrated guide to making the perfect burger designed and signed by Anthony Bourdain and a collection of Ann Patchett essays bearing her John Hancock.

Shops in New York City will also host their own unique readings and kid- and adult-friendly activities, serving local food and drinks as further enticement to spend your day browsing bookshelves.

We've rounded up a few places to join in on the literary fun:


 Greenlight Bookstore686 Fulton St, Brooklyn, Fort Greene

You could spend the whole day at Greenlight, and if you show up early, you'll be rewarded with free mini-cake doughnuts from Doughnut Plant. Throughout the day, authors will be there to take pictures within the "literary celebrity photo booth." Music will be DJed by other authors, and there will be drawing workshops for kids and adults. At 7 p.m., the bookstore will round off the day's activities with a wine reception. 

► Community Bookstore143 7th Ave., Park Slope

Community is celebrating the day with free beer in the afternoon and a 7 p.m. reading featuring authors Bill Corbett, Paul Auster and Felix Harr.

► Stories Bookshop + Storytelling Lab458 Bergen Street, Park Slope 

This children's bookstore is set to officially open for business in mid-May, but in the meantime, it's hosting a "Sneak Peek Party" with activities, lemonade, cookies and balloons. The space on Bergen Street will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, according to an email from novelist and co-owner Maggie Pouncey. From 11 a.m. to noon, kids are invited to make their own book jackets with author Kirsten Hall and illustrator Dasha Tolstikova. From 2 to 4 p.m., teaching artists from the Children's Museum of the Arts will supervise the creation of window displays for the shop.

Powerhouse Arena, 37 Main St., Downtown Brooklyn

Powerhouse is taking part in the Brooklyn Bookstore Crawl, which is inviting bookworms to plan their own tour of five or more shops on Saturday. (Completing a task at each one and posting the result on social media with the hashtag #bkbookstorecrawl will enter you into a drawing with prizes such as gift cards and free books.)

Powerhouse will announce its task in the morning and contribute a $10 gift card to the prize selection.

The store will also continue its sale of 50 to 90 percent off on select titles from its publishing company, powerHouse Book.

► Word126 Franklin Street, Greenpoint

There will be raffles, giveaways, and temporary tattoo chains in the downstairs events space at this Greenpoint bookstore. At 7 p.m., join writers Douglas Watson, Vanessa Mártir, and Mark de Silva for a reading and conversation about tricks of the trade; early birds get mimomas and donuts.


► Astoria Bookshop31-29 31st Street, Astoria

Bring kids to play team Pictionary with local illustrators Isabel Roxas and Angela Dominguez at 11:30 a.m. Adults can compete in a literary 20 Questions tournament at 6 p.m. The bookstore will offer free giveaways from Astoria Coffee, Doughnut Plant and the florist Roots & Petals, and invite visitors to participate in an in-store scavenger hunt for the chance of winning a gift certificate.


► Book Culture450 Columbus Ave., Upper West Side

Independent Bookstore Day celebrations at Book Culture kick off with "community coloring": the store will prop a giant poster outside for booksellers and neighbors to color in. "Coloring outside the lines is encouraged!" the event page says. 

From 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., the shop will host a happy hour featuring literature-inspired cocktails.

For every $25 you spend in-store on Saturday you'll get a raffle ticket to potentially win a quarterly subscription for selections chosen by bookstore curators.