Square Books will hold a celebration for the second annual Independent Bookstore Day Saturday.
Last year, Independent Bookstore Day became a nationally-celebrated event. The tradition began in California, where it was celebrated at bookstores statewide.
Square Books will be brimming with events throughout the day. They’ll offer a chance to “Ask an Author” anything one might wish or become part of a nationwide “Literary Tattoo Chain.” They’ll also have special “Bookstore Day” items and deals.
The Ask an Author event will be much like Lucy’s Psychiatric Help Booth from the Charlie Brown comics, except featuring local authors, according to Alissa Lilly, Square Books special events coordinator.
“Basically, you can ask the author any question. It doesn’t have to be about the books or literature. They don’t have to answer, but nothing is off-limits,” Lilly said.
Some of the authors available for interrogation are Chris Offutt, Jack Pendarvis, Ann Fisher-Wirth and John T. Edge, as well as Oxford twin duo Margaret and Katherine King.
Much like Record Store Day at End of All Music, Square Books will have about a dozen special items created especially for Independent Bookstore Day available from popular authors.
Some examples include Neil Gaiman coloring books and signed Anthony Bourdain prints– an illustrated guide to putting together the perfect hamburger. There are also special bookstore day items for children available at Square Books Jr. According to Lilly, there are very limited quantities, so once the store opens at 9 a.m., they will be available first come, first serve. There will be deals available at almost every Square Books store.
“We’re also going to have a book sale. All our used and bargain books will be an additional 20 percent off the sale price,” Lilly said. “We’re also going to serve free coffee in our café until 11 a.m. We’re going to hold a couple of raffles throughout the day, and we have some giveaway items.”
Square Books will also be participating in the largest literary tattoo chain, as part of a project by Lithographs Tattoo Press. Each tattoo is a strand of words taken from “Alice in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass,” broken up into 5,258 separate phrases. Square Books is one of a number of bookstores giving the tattoos away.
“Ideally, if every single one is given away, when you put it on, then you take a picture of yourself and send it in to Lithograph, then conceivably, the entire text of both of those books would form this really long tattoo chain. 5,258 separate tattoos to form the full text of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ and ‘Through the Looking Glass,” Lilly said.
“We’re hoping that people will, because it’s Independent Bookstore Day, be motivated to physically come in the store,” Lilly said. “It’s all about people coming into the store and celebrating as a community.”