Local bookstores welcome customers for Independent Booksellers Day

Published: Apr. 29, 2022 at 6:15 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Saturday is Independent Booksellers Day. It’s a chance for you to show support for the bookstores that make in hometowns unique.

Friday on the WDBJ7+ Digital News Desk, we were joined by three local booksellers as they shared what makes their jobs special.

Listen to this story here:

Sarah Ellen with Givens Books and Little Dickens in Lynchburg said it’s not just about the books, but about the community. To her staff it’s about bringing people together and supporting what makes Lynchburg special.

“We even encourage like shopping at your local hardware store and restaurants and other things and it helps the heart of the community I think,” she said. “And so we try to partner with schools and just other businesses because it helps bring community together and a place and it makes us unique.”

In the spirit of the day, Givens will host a local 8-year-old author’s book signing and special event in store.

Randy Shell of Oracle Books in Wytheville said the independent experience is something unique. As a transplant to the area, he said his community has embraced what he calls the adventure of indie book stores.

“Some people come in for a specific book. But they end up walking out with something else,” he said. “So it’s not like you’re looking to find a book, a book finds you. They walk through, they’re like, ‘Wait a minute, I didn’t know this book was even here!’ And they grab it and hopefully buy it and that’s the adventure and I think that’s part of what independent book stores are about.”

The owner of Books and Crannies in Martinsville, DeShanta Hairston, said her store has become a gathering spot and social space for people in her community.

“I feel like bookstores do that for their community outside of you know providing literature and educational things to the community,” she explained. “But we are also kind of a safe space for people to come and be able to connect with someone that they feel like they trust us not just with their books but also within the community.”

Books and Crannies is hosting children’s read-aloud events this weekend as art of their celebration.

It’ll be their first read-aloud since COVID.

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