Greater Cincinnati Bookstores Celebrate Independent Bookstore Day with Special Deals and Limited Releases

Independent Bookstore Day on April 24 gives indie bookstores some great recognition — and book-buyers some great deals.

click to enlarge Joseph-Beth Booksellers - PHOTO: FACEBOOK.COM/JOSEPHBETHCINCY
Joseph-Beth Booksellers

This Saturday (April 24), indie bookstores around the Greater Cincinnati area will feature special deals, limited release items and engaging events to celebrate Independent Bookstore Day.

“It's a great opportunity for us to celebrate what being an independent bookstore means, both for us as the booksellers but also for the people who love bookstores in our city,” says Michael Link, director of book strategy and experience at Joseph-Beth Booksellers.

Joseph-Beth is one of several local bookstores that are celebrating the event, including Cincy Book Bus and Blue Marble Books.

Link tells CityBeat that Joseph-Beth has been celebrating Independent Bookstore Day since it became a national event in 2015. The nationwide celebration is designed to bring more awareness and recognition of local bookstores.

click to enlarge Cincy Book Bus - PHOTO: SAMI STEWART
Photo: Sami Stewart
Cincy Book Bus

That's how we benefit — it's really awareness that we're here, that we offer things that are very, very different from what your experience might be just buying a book online,” Link says. 

With the COVID-19 pandemic creating challenges for many local businesses over the last year, that awareness and support has been needed now more than ever.

“Especially this year, it's important to celebrate things like Independent Bookstore Day. (The bookstores are) cornerstones of so many communities,” Link says. “I think over the last 12 months, people have become even more aware of the effect of spending their dollars locally and what that means.”

Since the pandemic has limited in-person shopping, many local bookstores like Joseph-Beth have had to adapt in order to survive. Link says the store implemented routine sanitation procedures for return products and curbside service as part of its health and safety guidelines.

While the pandemic has caused hardship over the past year, Link says Joseph-Beth was able to thrive due to the consistent community support, a sentiment that is emphasized during Independent Bookstore Day.

“When we say we'd be nothing without our community, we mean it in a very, very real way,” Link says.

Though Independent Bookstore Day is a national event, each bookstore is encouraged to celebrate it in its own individual way. 

Independent Bookstore Day coincidentally falls on the last day of Joseph-Beth’s community appreciation week, which features several deals for members of its gives-back rewards program.

On Saturday, several “custom products” and exclusive items will be for sale at the bookstore. An exclusive print edition of a story written by Stephen King and his son, Joe Hill, will be available. The book Being Alive is a Good Idea: A Conversation with Nikki Giovanni and Glory Edim by Giovanni and Edim will also be featured. Giovanni grew up in Cincinnati before becoming one of the world's most well-known Black poets. Print copies of The ABCs of Black History by Rio Cortez and Lauren Semmer will also be available. Special products such as customized pencils and Baby Yoda onesies are also featured.

Other local bookstores have their own plans for celebration. 

Blue Marble Books, an independent children’s bookstore operating since 1979, will host a “Bag Full of Spring Sale” on Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Customers will be given a brown paper bag that they can fill with as many books as they want for the set price of $15.

Cincy Book Bus will feature several “freebie” deals for every order. In a Facebook post, the bus announced a giveaway package for a free Independent Bookstore Day tote with a Book Bus mug that anyone who orders a book will be included in. Additionally, every order of $25 or more will receive a free Book Bus sticker, and every order of $35 or more will receive a free Book Bus pin.

According to Link, this day is a great pillar of support that many local bookstores can lean on during this time.

“I think anytime there's something where it highlights specifically the work that bookstores do in their communities, that's great,” Link says.

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