This Saturday is Independent Bookstore Day, an annual one-day party held at bookstores nationwide the last Saturday in April. It’s always a great day to drop by your local bookshop, as many stores plan fun events such as author talks, book signings, storytelling sessions, giveaways and more!
At the Children’s Literacy Foundation, we are huge fans of the many independent bookstores we partner with across New Hampshire and Vermont. Their support is invaluable in helping us get beautiful, high-quality books into the hands of the children we serve.
In honor of Independent Bookstore Day 2022, we wanted to give special recognition to our bookstore friends who held holiday book drives for CLiF this past December. We highly recommend visiting every one of these stores, whether in person or online; this Saturday, or any day!
Bear Pond Books, Montpelier, VT
A mainstay of downtown Montpelier’s shopping district since 1973, Bear Pond Books is a destination for readers of all ages. The store offers a wide selection of both new and used books, expertly curated by the dedicated staff. An inviting children’s room on the second floor houses both an impressive assortment of books for young readers, and a resident Russian tortoise named Veruca. (You can follow Veruca on Instagram.)
This Saturday: Head to Bear Pond to celebrate Veruca’s birthday with a full slate of tortoise-appreciation activities, including card-making, story time with local authors Christy Mihaly (one of our CLiF presenters!) and Leda Schubert, games and cake! Learn more!
Bookery, Manchester, NH
Bookery aims to be more than just an independent bookstore within its community; it’s also “a hub for book-lovers, artists, politicians, workers, dreamers, and those with extraordinary imaginations.” With a balance of mainstream and lesser-known titles on offer, Bookery stocks something for every type of reader. There’s also a tasteful selection of book-themed merchandise available, including candles, T-shirts and mugs; as well as an in-store cafe that features specialty doughnuts on Saturdays.
This Saturday: A magic show, tarot card readings, prize wheel, and a literary trivia night hosted by a onetime Jeopardy! contestant are just a few of the events unfolding for Independent Bookstore Day at Bookery. Learn more!
Bridgeside Books, Waterbury, VT
Serving as Waterbury’s independent bookstore since 2009, Bridgeside is in the business of keeping brains engaged. With over 3,000 books in stock, as well as art supplies, puzzles, games and other unique treasures, there’s no excuse for boredom within these store walls!
This Saturday: Bridgeside is hosting a full-day extravaganza of author events, giveaways, prizes, kiddie activities and more! CLiF presenters Dan Abdo (Blue, Barry & Pancakes series) and Sarah Dillard (Mouse Scouts series and Blueberry Cake) are among the authors who will be on hand. Learn more!
Ebenezer Books, Johnson, VT
Housed in a red brick building on a street corner, this cozy bookstore is named in honor of an “extraordinary” dog, whose name meant “place of refuge.” True to its name, Ebenezer Books seeks to be “a place of discovery and sense of home for people who find refuge in the literary arts.” The store sells a carefully considered collection of new and used books, cards and fine chocolate.
This Saturday: Celebrating by closing for a well-earned vacation! Reopening May 3.
Gibson’s Bookstore, Concord, NH
Founded in 1898(!), Gibson’s is the oldest continuously operating retailer in the Concord area, and the largest independent bookstore in northern New England. On a mission to “reflect and enhance its community with the best in intelligent entertainment,” Gibson’s stocks a generous inventory of books across all genres, as well as a thoughtfully curated collection of used books. For shoppers looking for items in the non-book category, the store sells an assortment of toys, socks, art supplies and tote bags. Hungry browsers can visit the in-store cafe to satisfy their cravings.
This Saturday: Raffles, special giveaways and exclusive Indie Bookstore Day items for sale! Bonus: wear any piece of Gibson’s merch and earn 20 percent off an entire transaction. Learn more!
Morgan Hill Bookstore, New London, NH
The spacious Morgan Hill Bookstore boasts almost 2,000 square feet of book-selling space for readers to explore, plus a fine selection of chocolate, gourmet nuts, stationary and other sundries. A cozy “Children’s Barn” within the store offers books for all ages, as well as puzzles and activities. Up until his death in 2020, the prolific children’s author Tomie dePaola (Strega Nona) was a good friend and frequent visitor to the bookstore, and still has his own page on the Morgan Hill website.
This Saturday: No special events posted as of press time, but the store will be open from 9am to 5pm, so stop in to do some celebratory shopping!
Norwich Bookstore, Norwich, VT
Serving readers in the Upper Valley of Vermont and New Hampshire since 1994, the Norwich Bookstore strives to “embody the spirit of cooperation and diversity found in the Vermont State Motto: Freedom and Unity!” Fans of all genres can expect personalized recommendations from an invested staff. The children’s section is bright and well-stocked; perfectly designed to capture the interest of young readers. Norwich Bookstore maintains an active calendar of events, including community programming and author talks.
This Saturday: Norwich Bookstore has teamed up with Yankee Bookshop, Left Bank Books and Still North Books for an Upper Valley bookstore crawl! Visit all four stores on Saturday and receive a discount coupon good at any one of them, plus an entry in a prize drawing. Learn more!
Phoenix Books, Burlington, Essex and Rutland, VT
Community-minded and passionate about the power of shopping local, the Phoenix stores offer books for all interests and budgets, and take pride in serving as gathering spaces for their customers. Phoenix also operates its own publishing imprint, Onion River Press, with the intent of giving local authors a self-publishing alternative to Amazon.
This Saturday: Stop into any Phoenix Books location for general merriment, free books, a variety of merchandise and other goodies. Learn more!
Toadstool Bookshop, Keene, NH
The Keene store opened in 1983 and is one of three Toadstool locations in New Hampshire. The original location, in Peterborough, opened in 1972, and a third location, now located in Nashua, originally opened in Milford in 1989. Now, fifty years after opening his first store,Toadstool founder Willard Williams is seeking a new owner to take over the business. Harboring dreams of becoming a bookseller? This could be your chance!
This Saturday: (Keene location only) Cake, book giveaways, bingo and prizes are all on the schedule of events. Learn more!
The Yankee Bookshop, Woodstock, VT
Vermont’s oldest continuously operating bookstore has been serving the literary needs of Woodstock and the surrounding towns since 1935. Visitors who pass beneath the bright yellow awning and into the store will find a wide selection of general interest books, as well a unique assortment of vinyl, stationery, bookish gifts, puzzles and more!
This Saturday: The Yankee Bookshop is part of the Upper Valley independent bookstore crawl, along with the Norwich Bookstore, Still North Books and Left Bank Books. Visit all four stores and receive a coupon good at any one of them, as well as an entry in a prize drawing. Learn more!