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Canadian Independent Bookstore Day Features Deals, Contests and Readings
On Saturday, every book purchased at an indie store qualifies you to enter the Book Lovers Contest, with a chance to win gift cards worth up to $1,000 / BY Elizabeth Mitchell / April 28th, 2023
Saturday, April 29, is Canadian Independent Bookstore Day, a one-day wordfest where readers across Canada can show their love and support for independent booksellers. Every book bought at participating store on Saturday counts as a ticket that can be used to enter the Book Lovers Contest draw for a chance to win gift cards worth $250, $500 and $1,000, redeemable at any independent bookstore the winner chooses. Books by Canadian writers and illustrators, such as Janie Chang’s latest novel, The Porcelain Moon, or Kate Beaton’s latest, Ducks — among many others — double your chance of winning. Here’s a look at how a few stores are celebrating the day.
Munro’s Bookshop in Victoria. Founded in 1963 by Jim Munro and his first wife, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Alice Munro – who, legend has it, began writing after reading a selection of the bookstore’s stock and decided she could do better — will have draws for personalized prize packs, great giveaways and free publisher swag. Event co-ordinator Alejandra Navarro has also arranged a photo booth, a ‘blind date with a book’ and a make-your-own bookmark station.
Sarah Cowman, assistant manager at Audrey’s Books in Edmonton, is getting the writing community involved. “We have reached out to some of our local authors who’ll be coming to the store to help out, chat with customers and help sell books. From 11 a.m. to 4p.m., there will be three or four authors reading each hour.” In addition, local tea shop Vintage Form and Libro.fm, an independent audiobook company, will be on hand serving tea and offering free audiobooks to anyone buying a new membership to Audrey’s (half price, at $5, and members receive double points all day).
Nine authors will give readings at Another Story Book Shop on Roncesvalles Avenue in Toronto’s west end. Graphic novelist Jillian Tamaki will be reading from her latest, They Say Blue, as well as signing tote bags she designed for the store, and Toronto Star editor and writer Deborah Dundas will be reading from her book On Class. Mystery book bundles are available for $10 each with 100 per cent of proceeds going to a local charity. “We’re just proud to be part of a really vibrant independent bookselling scene in Canada and North America,” says Another Story’s Anjula Gogias. “We support our local communities, we sell Canadian authors in a way that the big chains don’t and we support local and self-published authors.” Gogias says working with the community is an integral part of their business. “It’s very much who we are in terms of the events that we organize, and our belief in how we run the store.”
Anyone spending more than $20 at Montreal’s Libraire Drawn + Quarterly on rue Bernard Ouest in the Mile End neighbourhood will receive the latest issue of CNQ: Canadian Notes and Queries — a long-running independent journal of literary, cultural and art history. A few doors away on Bernard, at their children and Young Adult location, Le Petite Libraire Drawn + Quarterly, local author Mitali Banerjee Ruths will be on hand to sign her new series, The Party Diaries.
Visitors to the Charlottetown or Halifax locations of Bookmark can expect to celebrate the day with its bookstore ambassadors: poet Jane Ledwell, in Charlottetown, and author Andre Fenton, in Halifax. Other fun stuff includes a chance to spin a wheel for points, live music at the Charlottetown location, a chance to win gift cards and book bundle draws.
Block Shop Books in Lunenburg, N.S.,, is doing double duty and also celebrating its eighth birthday on Saturday. Customers — in store and online — will receive 20 per cent off all book purchases. Jan Hull, of Tim Brown Mysteries fame, will be reading and signing books, Whitney Moran, managing editor of Halifax’s Nimbus Publishing and Vagrant Press, will be presenting and signing copies of her new picture book, I Want to Build a Seahouse, and multi-award nominated and bestselling YA author Jo Treggiari will be on hand all day to chat and sign books.
The Canadian Independent Booksellers Association website, cibabooks.ca, has an interactive map to help you locate your nearest indie bookstore as well as information on the Book Lovers Contest gift card draw.