Indie Bookstore Day.
Have I ever told you that Harry Potter and I are the same age? I think there's been some debate on the subject, but the first Harry Potter book released when I, too, was 11, and every summer, I would wait anxiously until J.K. Rowling gave us Harry's newest adventure.
I remember vividly the summer of the fifth book. My family was visiting Highlands, NC, and we stopped by their independent bookstore to snag a copy of the much-anticipated title. I couldn't believe my luck; not only was Harry's book finally in my hands, but I had wandered into a place that previously only existed in my dreams (or in Disney's Beauty and the Beast): A store, filled to the brim with nooks and crannies and ladders and books. It was magic.
Tallahassee, as you know, doesn't have an indie bookstore. (We kind of like to claim that title.) There are a couple of great used bookstores, and there's a Barnes and Noble that holds a special place in my heart, but growing up, independent bookstores were places I visited when my family traveled. They were always a part of the itinerary because they were a rarity: a spot of magic I could only experience away from home.
Fast forward a few years, and here I am, just 45 minutes up the road from Tallahassee, creating my own bit of a magic at The Bookshelf. My 11-year-old self would be pretty pleased with how things have turned out, I think.
Unfortunately, to my dismay, the little bookshop in Highlands where I fell in love with independent bookshops isn't open anymore. A victim of the times, I guess. But the good news is there are thousands of other stores like it all over our country, and this Saturday, we'll join them in celebrating what makes indie bookstores so special: our ideas, our spaces, our words.
We're more than happy to bring the nationwide Indie Bookstore Day party to Thomasville, and we hope you'll help us have a good time. Here's what we've got on tap for our Indie Bookstore celebration:
- One of a kind Indie Bookstore Day swag, including onesies, art prints, and chapbooks;
- Free coffee from Grassroots Coffee for early bird shoppers;
- A unique story time featuring local teachers and directors from downtown preschools;
- Literary-inspired artwork created on-site by Thomasville artists;
- Cupcakes from our friends at Lucy & Leo's Cupcakery;
- A book-themed happy hour + musical entertainment;
- Bookmark-making with local artist Jinx Stubbs;
- Local authors acting as celebrity booksellers for the day, including Prissy Elrod, Janet Litherland, T.T. Faulkner, Author Elizabeth Stuckey-French, andCJ Hauser;
- Store-themed scavenger hunts;
- And more!
Long before I became the owner of The Bookshelf, I loved independent bookstores, the atmospheres they created and the services they provided their communities. It's my honor to run the independent bookstore in Thomasville, to carry on The Bookshelf's legacy and to run a small business in a world where bigger is often considered better.
You -- yes, you -- are a huge part of the joy that comes from running this store. I hope you'll let us celebrate you, too, on Saturday. It should be a grand time. Maybe even a little bit magical.