Independent booksellers have a unique role in our communities. On Sat. Oct. 16, bookshops across the country will be hosting promotional events in celebration of Independents’ Day, a major marketing drive championing the cultural and economic contributions made by long-established and new-generation independent booksellers operating in many Canadian communities.
Customer-focused, commercially-savvy and digitally-aware, independent booksellers are carving an invaluable niche for themselves in their local communities, despite trying economic times and increased competition.
“Independent bookstores are at the heart of the neighbourhoods they serve, catering to local tastes and interests, encouraging lively book exchange via store-sponsored book clubs and authors events, and knowledgeably and passionately connecting readers with books they will love,” says Mark Lefebvre, president of Canadian Booksellers Association. “On Independents’ Day, we celebrate their importance as local cultural hubs and vital contributors to Canada’s diverse and dynamic literary community.”
Now in its fifth year, Independents’ Day provides a platform for bookstores across Canada to raise awareness of the issues that affect their businesses including:
*The importance of independent bookstores in promoting regional/local literature, works that might not be noticed by a chain store that buys for the entire country at once.
*The contribution independently owned businesses make to their local economy; money spent at one’s local bookstore helps sustain the local economy and create local jobs. Also, Independents support local causes (i.e. teams, schools, charities and arts organizations).
*The role independent bookstores play in creating a community that favours the arts and promotes economic success by encouraging innovators to stay there.
*The potential for major parts of Canada’s bookselling industry – a chief disseminator of Canadian culture – to fall to foreign ownership.
Bookstores will be marking the occasion in a variety of reader-friendly ways: contests, giveaways, author readings and signings are just a few of the events booksellers have in store. You can find out more about Independents’ Day activities or simply stop by your nearest Independent on Oct. 16 to join in on the celebration.
Independents’ Day is an initiative of Canadian Booksellers Association, a national trade association that represents close to 1,000 bookstores, including trade, campus, specialty, chain, used and rare booksellers, in urban and rural communities.