July 15th, 2024

Local sellers celebrating Independent Bookstore Day

By Nicholas Allen - for the Lethbridge Herald on April 28, 2022.

Herald photo by Nicholas Allen Analog Books co-owner Penny Warris with bookmarks and stickers that will be availble in the store for Canadian Independent Bookstore Day

Local independent bookstores are celebrating Canadian Independent Bookstore Day this Saturday.
The celebration taking place April 30 will include stops at the local stores Analog Books, Echo Used Books and Big John’s Books. The Canadian Independent Bookstore Day has been hosted by the Canadian Independent Booksellers Association for the past three years with close to 125 stores taking part across Canada.
Local bookstore Analog Books is hoping to increase awareness of its shop after opening in December 2020 during the pandemic, a decision that owner Penny Warris hadn’t planned to make.
“It worked well. Bookstores were a good thing to open during the pandemic. Even though it was weird to open during that time, Lethbridge has been very supportive,” said Warris. “We saw a need in Lethbridge for a local or an independent bookstore and we thought that it would be supported, but we were overwhelmed by this.”
Warris said they have been surprised by the number of local authors in Lethbridge, with an entire wall being dedicated to the writers of the area.
“We have like over 50 local authors and [close to] over 80 different titles of local author books. So that’s something that we’re definitely featuring for Independent Bookstore Day,” she said.
The location of Analog Books is unique according to Warris. She explained how the shop is directly in between two used bookstores, Big John’s Books and Echo Used Books. The proximity of the businesses inspired a collaboration for Independent Bookstore Day with a “bookstore walk” being planned to mark the occasion.
“If you go to all three bookstores and ideally you would buy something, but even if you just say that you’ve been to the bookstore you come back here and you get a little gift package and it’ll be a blind date with a book,” said Warris. “We’ve got books that are wrapped up, that you won’t see the title.”
The owner of Big John’s Books, John Pyska, said he did not consider the event in the past but looks forward to what his participation in the event could mean.
“I think maybe some people who have never been into the store would come by. [It will] encourage people to come see independent stores. It’s never a bad idea in my opinion,” said Pyska.
Numerous items for Independent Bookstore Day will be made available according to Warris. These include stickers, wax stamps, bookmarks and bags.
“Really, it’s just a celebration of thanking our customers for being part of the ride so far,” said Warris. “It’ll just be a fun day to recognize independent bookstores.”
One of the reasons that Warris said she opened the store was to be a part of the community and provide an inclusive space for everyone.
“We find that our LGBTQ2S+ [and] our Indigenous sections are very popular,” said Warris. “I believe that we have curated our books in such a way that we have something for everybody.”

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