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HomeNewsDowntown Lethbridge book crawl celebrates indie bookstores Apr. 27

Downtown Lethbridge book crawl celebrates indie bookstores Apr. 27

Next Saturday, to celebrate Canadian Independent Bookstore Day, local book worms can participate in a book crawl in downtown Lethbridge with Echo Books, Big John’s Books and Analog Books.  

It’s the annual day when readers, writers, illustrators, publishers and other industry supporters come together to celebrate indie bookstores across Canada.  

How can Canadian reading enthusiasts participate? By buying books and other items in-person or online to support independent bookstores in your neighbourhood. Or check out local bookstores for activities, including customer giveaways, discounts, exclusive products and author events. 

Co-owner of Analog Books Penny Warris says this is the fourth year the local bookstore has taken part in the festivities. “It’s turned out to be our single busiest day of the year for the last two years.” 

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Warris adds the goal of the day is to raise the profile of indie bookstores as cultural contributors. The Canadian Independent Booksellers Association works with publishers and industry partners to create limited edition swag to be given away. “We apply for it and they send it out to us.” 

“We have everything from custom branded chocolate bars, special stickers, signed poems and books. We have all kinds of custom bookmarks and cool publisher items, only made for that day. They’re in very limited quantities. We have a big prize wheel and put them all on that and people come and love spinning the prize wheel to see what they can get,” says Warris. 

This is the one day of the year to celebrate bookstores, notes Warris. “And our positions in the community.” 

Last year, Analog Books hosted a book crawl, which Warris says was super successful. “With the other two used bookstores. We’re the only new independent bookstore.” 

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“What we do is we give a passport out and people go and get them stamped at all three stores and they come back and get a custom-made bookmark with all of our logos on it and they get an entry into several different levels of prizes.” 

The local bookstores have also collaborated with some of the other downtown businesses in Lethbridge, which are giving out coupons and prizes. 

“You might receive a coupon to go and get a cookie over at Cookie Crimes or candy at How Sweet or a coffee at Cafe Noir. We’ve collaborated with a lot of people on our streets to make it a little more fun, as you’re going around on the book crawl,” says Warris. 

Customers can also spin and win other prizes, discounts and Analog Books merchandise. “We’ve got bags, bookmarks, greeting cards, post cards, magnets and all kinds of stuff to give away.” 

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Big John’s Books is also giving away a “Blind Date with a Book” to the first 100 customers through the door. As an added twist, the store will be randomly placing five $25 gift certificates in the 100 books. 

Last year, Warris estimates about 750 people came through the store on the special day. “On a normal day, we would probably see like 200, so that’s a lot of people to come downtown. We are super stoked for it.” 

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