The rescheduled Independent Bookstore Day 2020 is less than two weeks away--Saturday, August 29--and bookstores around the country have solidified their plans for the annual celebration of bookselling. More than 600 stores are participating this year, and Washington Nationals pitcher Sean Doolittle is this year's IBD ambassador.
IBD has put together a full day of virtual events. The first half of the schedule is packed with children's, middle-grade and YA events and includes drawing classes, author talks and genre discussions. The second half of the schedule focuses on adult books. The penultimate event is a panel discussion about Alone Together: Love, Grief, and Comfort in the Time of Covid-19, the anthology edited by Jennifer Haupt and meant to benefit independent bookstores. The day's final official event is a talk featuring authors and past IBD ambassadors Tayari Jones, Lauren Groff and Emma Straub.
Throughout the month of August, Libro.fm is asking bookstore customers to share short videos explaining why their local bookstores and Libro.fm are important to them. When readers submit their videos, they receive one free audiobook credit, and on IBD, Libro will share a selection of those videos on the company's blog. Creators who have their videos featured on the website will receive the choice of a $100 gift card to their local indie or a 12-month Libro.fm audiobook membership.
Last year, indie bookstores in Brooklyn, N.Y., teamed up for the first Brooklyn Bookstore Day, which featured, among other things, a bookstore crawl with prizes for customers who shopped at multiple Brooklyn stores on IBD. Due to the pandemic, plans have, of course, had to change, and this year more than 15 Brooklyn bookstores are offering an exclusive Bookstore Day 2020 design that will be available on T-shirts, mugs and tote bags. Purchases can be made through Bonfire and items will be shipped directly to customers. Proceeds from all the sales will be divided equally among participating bookstores, after Brooklyn artist Ping Hatta's commission.
Hatta had already created a design for Brooklyn Bookstore Day 2020 that was meant to be used on this year's passports. She collaborated on that design with Maggie Pouncey, owner of Stories Bookshop, which closed in July. Hatta repurposed the design to be printed on items and sold directly to customers.
In Plainville, Mass., An Unlikely Store Bookstore and Cafe is hosting a virtual event with author Allison Crotzer Kimmel and illustrator Joanie Stone. The pair will introduce Unbeatable Betty, their new picture book biography of Betty Robinson, who was the first female gold medalist at the 1928 Summer Olympics. Brook Doire, Robinson's granddaughter, will join the discussion as well.
And at Vroman's in Pasadena, Calif., graphic novelist Ed Brubaker will be in conversation with author Joe Hill to discuss Brubaker's newest graphic novels Cruel Summer and Pulp (both with art by Sean Phillips). The event is ticketed, and the cost of the ticket includes a hardcover copy of either Cruel Summer or Pulp, which will be mailed to attendees after the event.