• Marcy Farrey

Celebrate Independent Bookstore Day!

Updated: Apr 27, 2018

More than 500 independent bookstores across the country will participate in Independent Bookstore Day on Saturday, April 28. Read my overview to see how local stores are celebrating.


The last Saturday in April is one of my favorite days of the year -- it's a bookstore holiday! Indie bookstores across the US will be celebrating the fourth annual Independent Bookstore Day on April 28. It's a great excuse to get out and support your local stores (and grow your personal library). Every store has its own unique party, offering discounts, treats, author visits, or other bookish activities. There's also special merchandise available at participating stores that you can't get any other day.


Since Crosby and I currently live in Chicago, we will once again be visiting our local Chicago (and surrounding suburban) stores. Last year, we successfully completed the #MyChicagoBookstore Independent Bookstore Day Challenge, visiting 10 participating stores. We're excited that the Challenge is back again this year, with even more local stores participating! Here's how it works:

  • Make a purchase of $25 or more at the first participating store you visit to earn your passport and first stamp of the day.

  • Get your passport stamped at each additional participating store you visit (no purchase necessary).

  • Visit 10 stores to get 10% off at all participating bookstores for the entire year!

  • OR Visit 15 stores to get15% off at all participating bookstores for the entire year!

  • Use #CHIBD18 to share photos from your indie bookstore tour!

To get Chicagoans geared up and ready for this special day, I've gathered a list of what's happening at Chicagoland stores. I've broken it into stores participating in the MyChicagoBookstore Challenge and stores not participating in the Challenge, but still celebrating the day. While we completed the Challenge last year, I must admit I am torn on whether to make that the main goal again this year. There are many great stores not participating in the Challenge that I'd also love to celebrate on this day. Whether you (or we) choose to complete the Challenge this year, what matters is that we all get out and show our support!


And for those of you who aren't in Chicago, be sure to check the Independent Bookstore Day website to see who is participating near you. As indieland grows, we hope to offer information on more cities!


Chicago Bookstore Challenge

See this great handy map of participating stores so you can plan your own bookstore crawl!


Chicago - Beverly

Chicago - Hyde Park

Chicago - Pilsen

  • Pilsen Community Books - Grab coffee and treats!

  • Open Books - Pilsen - You don't want to miss their bi-annual Garage Sale! Sale runs 10 am to 5 pm, and all kids books are $1, all paperbacks are $2, and all hardcovers are $3. Fill an entire box with books (35-40 total) for only $40. The sale is also open on Sunday, so you have another chance to catch it if you miss it on Indie Bookstore Day.

Chicago - Printer's Row

  • Sandmeyer's Bookstore - your day wouldn't be complete without a visit to this historical Printer's Row neighborhood bookstore.

Chicago - The Loop / Downtown

Chicago - River West

Chicago - Wicker Park

Chicago - Lincoln Park

  • Read It & Eat It - Come in for refreshments from 11 to 6, including sparkling wine and nonalcoholic beverages! All books will also be 25% off, and all guests who visit will be entered into a raffle to win a "Season Authors Event Pass" that lets the winner into 10 author events in 2018.

Chicago - Logan Square

Chicago - Roscoe Village

  • Roscoe Books - Try some home-baked treats from the staff's favorite cookbooks! There will be bookish giveaways all day long and free advance reader copies for anyone who spends at least $50!

Chicago - Lincoln Square

  • The Book Cellar - They'll be serving up literary cocktails and free Garrett Popcorn! Plus, embarrassing baby pics of booksellers, photo ops, and a drawing for a chance to get up to 50% off your purchase.

Chicago - Andersonville

  • Women & Children First - Stop by for giveaways and complimentary refreshments from Sauce and Bread and The Coffee Studio!

Northern Suburbs - Evanston

  • Bookends & Beginnings - Come in for several activities and perks! With all purchases over $10, you get a free Bookends & Beginnings bumper sticker and custom-designed store postcard by artist and staff member George Booker. At 10:30 am, there will be a Reading & Giveaway of the children's book, Maisy Goes to the Local Bookstore. At 3 pm, join the What’s with Chicago? Trivia Contest with author Ellen Shubart (trivia based on her new book, What’s With Chicago?) and compete for prizes. And at 5 pm, The Great Books Foundation launches its new Big Ideas in Popular Culture Anthologies. Authors will read, followed by a group discussion and Q&A.

Northern Suburbs - Winnetka

  • The Book Stall at Chestnut Court - The day begins with a Children’s Story Hour at 10:30 am, with mimosas for the adults. They'll be serving Peet’s Coffee, adult beverages (3 to 5 pm), and baked goods prepared by the staff from their favorite cookbooks! There will be activities and prizes for both adults and kids. And if that wasn't enough excitement for you, they'll also be welcoming local authors Lindsay Currie, Rebecca Makkai, Erica O'Rourke, Sarah Aronson, Lisa Jenn Bigelow, and Christine Sneed to talk about their books and recommend some of their favorites to customers.

Northern Suburbs - Lake Forest Book Store

  • Lake Forest Book Store - Come in for coffee, donuts, giveaways, and a visit with costumed character NUTBROWN HARE from the book GUESS HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU (10:30 am - 12:00 pm).

Northern Suburbs - Northbrook

Western Suburbs - Oak Park

Western Suburbs - Forest Park

Western Suburbs - La Grange/Downers Grove/Naperville

  • Anderson's Bookshop - Visit any of their locations! All Anderson’s stores will have special merchandise, goodies and freebies, and a special discount announced that day on their website, good for Indie Bookstore Day only.

Other Stores to Visit

As I mentioned, there are many stores that are not participating in the Challenge, but that are definitely worth a visit if you can make it happen. If not, be sure to check them out another day!

Clearly, there is so much to choose from! Be sure to share your adventures on social media, and if you participate in the Challenge, use #CHIBD18. Happy shopping and I wish you all a Happy Independent Bookstore Day!

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