Friday, April 28, 2017

Readying for a Retail Marathon

If you do not hear from me tomorrow, Saturday, it will be because I am busily engaged in Seattle’s third annual Independent Bookstore Day. Part of a national campaign to promote small, non-corporate booksellers, the Seattle event (held in Amazon’s backyard!) challenges bibliophiles and other fun-loving folk to visit at least 19 of 23 participating shops within the span of a single business day. Winners will subsequently receive a card ensuring them a 25-percent discount at all 23 of the stores for an entire year.

In 2016—the first time I jumped into this race—the minimum was 17 store visits, so the stakes have risen a bit (presumably to cut down on the number of winners; there were 120 last year, up from only 40 in 2015). I will be making this weekend’s run together with my favorite niece (and fellow bookaholic), Amie-June. She and I both entered Seattle’s 2016 bookstore tourney, and finished in the money—though we did so separately, without having discussed it in advance; and we didn’t even know we were both on the course until the frantic festivities were over. We’ll see if we can now combine what we’ve learned of this contest to our mutual advantage.

Despite the rivalrous nature of the Independent Bookstore Day “Champion Challenge,” it’s also immensely entertaining and a welcome incentive to explore bookshops you may not have called on previously. (No, you don’t have to buy something everywhere you go; you just need to pick up a printed “passport” at your first stop, and then have it stamped at each new place along the way.) A number of the retailers have scheduled special events for Saturday. A map of participating Seattle-area stores, with business hours, can be found here.

I’ll let you know in a near-future post how the day went.

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