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Bookstore keeps it fresh and interesting with local events

Keeping it fresh and interesting is a fabulous way to provide Lethbridge with local events to celebrate reading and the arts. 

Penny Warris, co-owner of Analog Books, says the downtown independent bookstore loves being a part of the community. “We try to look for unique events because we find the support of our community is amazing. The people that come here are the best people in the world. We have the most amazing customers.”  

Warris notes the store opened during the pandemic – just coming up on four years, “so it was an interesting time to open.” 

Past events have included fountain and glass dip pen nights, “where we set out tables with all our fountain pens and inks on them and people can come in and try them all out,” Warris explains. “It’s a unique opportunity because a lot of people have never written with a fountain pen before.” 

The decor inside the store features typewriters and cameras too. “Part of that fountain pen night, we have the typewriters set up, so people could write a letter,” says Warris, and during a car show in the summer, the store held a typewriter show and shine. “People brought their typewriters and they were all outside at the front.” 

A few other events have included story time a few times a month and Blind Date with a Book, where books were wrapped and clues about what the book might be were written on it. During a recent International Book Giving Day, everybody that came into the store received a free book. 

“We also have a book swap – where people can bring a book they’ve already read and they can swap it out for a book somebody else has brought in,” says Warris. “We don’t do used books, but once-in-a-while we’ll do these book swaps to keep it interesting.” 

On Mar. 2, the store will take part in the 5th Annual “Paper Bag Princess” Day, as families celebrate children’s author Robert Munsch. “We have a recording of him reading ‘Paper Bag Princess.’ We are going to be playing it on our projector during the day and we’ve got kids activities surrounding the book,” says Warris. 

Warris notes the store will be the bookseller at the Southern Alberta Home, Garden and Leisure Show in March at the Agri-food Hub and Trade Centre. The show will feature cookbook author and television celebrity Anna Olson from HGTV. 

The store will also be promoting Canadian Independent Book Store Day Apr. 27, as bookstores all over North America celebrate being an independent bookstore. 

A short story contest is also going on for southern Alberta high school students. “The Analog Prize” is a high school version of the University of Lethbridge’s “Bridge Prize.” Warris says the chancellor from the U of L approached the store about offering this distinction and is sponsoring the $500 cash prize. “They can submit a short story and they can win a $500 cash prize and three runners-up will win $100 gift certificates for Analog. It’s new this year.” 

The deadline for entering the contest is Feb. 29. A jury of local readers will make their selections in May. 

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