By Lucia Viti
Uptown’s Bluestocking Books, The Book Catapult and Verbatim Books will celebrate America’s Independent Bookstore Day, April 27-29, as part of San Diego’s nine-store Book Crawl ensemble.
The annual event, now in its third year, showcases the unique niche of the indie bookstore. Prizes, swag bags, stickers, pins, buttons, arts and crafts, author presentations, book signings, contests, and of course the best in books, will be offered to those who relish aimlessly perusing aisles of books.
Crawlers will experience the magic behind the art of hand-selling books along with excellent customer service. The three-day event promises to introduce attendees to an incredible collection of San Diego’s community bookstores.
“The crawl is the perfect personification of what it’s like to be a part of an amazing network of local bookstores,” said Seth Marko, owner of The Book Catapult. “Everyone works together to promote each other. As we showcase what makes The Book Catapult special, we connect to San Diego’s amazing community of indie bookstores.”
“The Book Crawl is an indispensable part of San Diego’s book culture,” said Justine Epstein, owner of North Park’s Verbatim Books. “San Diego is full of enthusiastic readers who value independent bookstores.”
Kris Nelson, owner of Hillcrest’s Bluestocking Books is thrilled to be giving away “lots of fun stuff to thank our clients for shopping in the real world, rather than online or in chain stores — home of the mass produced.”
Despite a world that revolves around reading clickbait, tweets and digital downloads, indie bookstores are not simply surviving, they are thriving. Independent Book Store Day underscores the importance of the brick-and-mortar edifice that serves as a universe of ideas for living, learning and sharing. Independent bookstores have become community hubs anchors spearheaded by passionate readers for booklovers to meet, greet and share their love of stories.
“The Book Catapult is a wonderous realm of fantastic books,” Marko continued. “We’re an oasis of literature. We stock books that you didn’t know you needed until you held them in your hands, thumbed their pages, and had a good conversation with our expert booksellers.”
“Bluestocking Books is a real bookshop; a host to magical, life-changing books,” added Nelson. “Here, toddlers squeal in delight, old friends find common loves in literature and history, true loves meet, and dogs sit politely for a treat. Random philosophical quotes are uttered aloud and books are recommended by friends and strangers. We’re a community of booklovers.”
Nelson noted that independent bookstores offer an “amazing ocean” of incredible writers, plus a shared enthusiasm between employees and clients. As the third owner of the property that has served as a bookstore since 1967, she is undeterred by the challenge of running an independent bookstore in a world dictated by the internet. Nelson remains inspired and enthused by her community of readers.
“Bluestocking Books is open every day as a haven; a tradition and testament to human thoughtfulness,” she said. “The love of Book Crawl is palpable on Independent Bookstore Day. We’re happy to offer locals and passing-through booklovers a place to enjoy and converse about what to read next.”
The bibliophile’s holiday is a typically well-attended event.
“Prepare to be blown away by the amount of people who participate in Book Crawl,” said Nelson. “People love it.”
“We were absolutely blown away by the sheer number of people who crawl,” said Marko. “Our 2018 Book Crawl Saturday was the biggest in-store sales day we’ve ever had, before or since. Readers love a good party, so we expect the community to be in full crawling force.”
“Verbatim Books is excited to be part of a valuable community event,” concluded Epstein. “Community response continues to be overwhelming.”
Crawlers can pick up passports in any of the nine locations. Purchases made during the three-day event are then stamped on those passports. Five stamps earn a free logo tote bag, plus a raffle entry to win a curated gift bag. Local author and illustrator Susie Ghahremani, the event’s ambassador, designed the crawl’s logo and tote bag.
Those who collect nine stamps will be eligible for gift certificates to each store.
Participating stores include the Library Shop, Mysterious Galaxy, Warwick’s Bookstore, Bluestocking Books, UC San Diego Bookstore, The Book Catapult, Verbatim Books, La Playa Books, and Run For Cover Bookstore.
For more information, visit https://www.facebook.com/events/417339152146901/.
— Reach Lucia Viti at email@example.com.