Fans of Vikram Seth’s “A Suitable Boy,” Malcom Margolin’s “The Ohlone Way,” Khaled Hosseini’s “The Kite Runner,” Timothy Ferriss’ “The 4-Hour Workweek,” or Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” can thank an independent bookseller.
Unlike large retailers, independent bookstores can choose to carry local authors and books outside of corporate quotas and contracts, giving opportunities to authors who may not have a chance to sell inside a Barnes & Noble or other corporate chain.
Independent booksellers’ ability to remain open amid corporate and big box store takeovers while staying true to indie authors is just one of the reasons to celebrate Independent Bookstore Day, “a one-day national party that takes place at indie bookstores across the country.”
Santa Clara’s Books, Inc., “the west’s oldest independent bookseller,” took part in the April 29 celebration by putting together a day full of fun for families and fans of reading.
“We are celebrating being independent booksellers, of course,” said Manager Cheenie Durham. “So, we have special things like a special edition of [Neil Gaiman’s] ‘Norse Mythology’ especially for today.”
In addition to Gaiman’s special edition book, Books, Inc. had extremely limited edition items like three infant onesies designed for the day by children’s author Mo Willems, two signed Jenny Lawson prints and a handful of pencil bags printed with literary dogs. It also put together a day of activities – three story times, including a pajama party with Mac Barnett’s “Noisy Night,” create-your-own magnetic poetry, and make-your-own book.
Vinod Viswanath of Cupertino arrived at the event with his wife and daughter, Vishakha, 7.
“We usually go to the one on Castro but we were here on this side of town so we came here,” he said. “[Vishakha] did her book. They had a make a book thing, which is really cool. And she’s very excited. She drew some pictures and she started a story.”
Viskahka’s book, “I Love My Puppies,” about the four dogs she hopes to have one day, was created with her own words and drawings.
“One day I went to get lunch for my puppies,” she read, “and fortunately they waited instead of romping around like they did everyday.” Although she only finished one page in the time the Viswanaths were at the store, she was eager to return home and finish her story.
As an extra treat, Viskahka saw Little Golden Books’ Little Golden Bus–on tour to celebrate 75 years of the popular children’s books–put together large puzzles outside the store and met Poky the Puppy, who made an appearance at the celebration.
All Bay Area Books, Inc. locations took part in Independent Bookstore Day. Santa Clara’s Books, Inc. is at Santa Clara Square Marketplace, 2712 Augustine Drive #120. Visit www.booksinc.net/SantaClara to see a list of upcoming store events.