In 2014, Samantha Schoech, a writer and former bookseller, helped change the storyline for California bookstores.
Tired of the “doom and gloom narrative” that imagined the book business tanking, Schoech says she was motivated to help launch Independent Bookstore Day.
“We wanted a fun, celebratory way to talk about bookstores,” Schoech says of the event modeled on Record Store Day (April 22) and Free Comic Book Day (May 6).
Independent Bookstore Day takes place on the last Saturday in April and features author visits, live music, readings, scavenger hunts and limited-edition books. This year, Long Island’s Turn of the Corkscrew Books & Wine in Rockville Centre, The Dolphin Bookshop & Cafe in Port Washington and BookHampton in East Hampton are all participating.
Independent Bookstore Day was originally the brainchild of Pete Mulvihill, co-owner of Green Apple Books in San Francisco. Since its inception, Schoech has produced the event and been integral to its national growth.
In its inaugural year, 95 stores participated. On April 29, more than 490 bookstores nationwide will take part.
Author Emma Straub (“Modern Lovers”), who is opening a bookstore in Brooklyn, is the “ambassador” for this year’s event. “Independent bookstores are my first stops in any new city,” Straub says. “They are ports in the storm, passageways to magical lands, escape hatches out of bad moods.”
Among the items for sale at participating bookshops are original prints by Jenny Lawson (“The Bloggess”) and “A Literary Cocktail Party: Favorite Drinks from Our Favorite Others,” a collection of cocktail recipes from contributors such as Straub, Edan Lepucki (“California”) and Viet Thanh Nguyen (“The Symphathizer”).
Here’s what else you can expect Saturday at Long Island’s participating stores:
TURN OF THE CORKSCREW Long Island’s youngest indie has planned back-to-back events beginning at 11 a.m. with readings of “The Poky Little Puppy,” “The Little Red Hen” and “The Shy Little Kitten,” with story-related activities to follow.
At noon, The Chapters Rap podcast will host a street festival of independent authors including Mary Ellenton, author of “The Psychic.”
Other highlights include a 2 p.m. panel titled “An Authors’ Reunion” featuring Hofstra’s Debbi Honorof with authors Ellen Meister (“Dorothy Parker Drank Here”), Saralee Rosenberg (“Dear Neighbor, Drop Dead”), Alix Strauss (“The Joy of Funerals”) and store co-owner Carol Hoenig. The group will discuss their experiences as writers among other topics.
Guests who spend at least $50 in the bookstore qualify for half off one glass of wine from the on-site cafe. Kids will be treated to complimentary lemonade.
WHEN | WHERE Saturday, April 29, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., 110 N. Park Ave., Rockville Centre
INFO 516-764-6000, turnofthecorkscrew.com
DOLPHIN BOOKSHOP At 2 p.m., “Protest, Poetry and Prose” features anonymous stories from the Herstory Writers Workshop, with writer and community activist Sonia Arora.
Afterward, Sally Wen Mao, author of “Mad Honey Symposium” will recite some of her poems. Guests can also expect raffles and giveaways throughout the day.
WHEN | WHERE Saturday, April 29, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., at 299 Main St., Port Washington
INFO 516-767-2650, thedolphinbookshop.com
BOOKHAMPTON Jordan Reid and Erin Williams, authors of “The Big Fat Activity Book for Pregnant People,” will headline the celebration at 1 p.m. at Calypso St. Barth, a clothing store near the bookshop. Their book incorporates quizzes, mazes, journaling pages and other musings on what to expect during pregnancy.
At 4 p.m., Paul Vogel, owner of East Hampton’s Vogel Bindery, will lead a bookbinding workshop where he will discuss the history of books and provide a hands-on binding demonstration. For a small fee, attendees can bind two small books that they can take home.
WHEN | WHERE Saturday, April 29, 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m., at 41 Main St., East Hampton
INFO 631-324-4939, bookhampton.com