Once again, California leads the nation: This time, it's in independent bookstore celebrations.
Spring 2014 marked the first-ever California Bookstore Day, in which independent bookstores offered limited-edition books, novelty items and special events to celebrate books and reading. This year, the event has gone national, with 400 independent bookstores coordinating to offer books and other items by Sherman Alexie, Margaret Atwood, Allie Brosh, Roz Chast, Dav Pilkey, Roxanne Gay, Stephen King and Chris Ware, for a single bookstore-focused day on Saturday.
If you're keeping track of these things, yes, that is also Free Comic Book Day. Readers are implicitly encouraged to travel between their local comic book store and local bookstore to get in on the action.
What's happening at our local bookstores? Here's a quick rundown of what everyone is doing in addition to offering the Independent Bookstore Day items for sale.
Book Soup in West Hollywood: Customers who introduce a friend to Book Soup will get a 20% off coupon for both shoppers. During the day, there will be giveaways and refreshments.
Diesel Bookstore in Brentwood: All day long, Diesel will conduct two contests: A Literary Scavenger Hunt and an Instagram contest with gift certificate prizes. Details will be available at the store when it opens at 10 a.m.
Gatsby Books in Long Beach: Customers who come in carrying the store's tote bag or wearing its T-shirt will get 25% off their purchase.
The Last Bookstore in Downtown L.A.: The Last Bookstore will be holding its own Instagram contest. Customers who introduce a friend to The Last Bookstore will be entered in a drawing for a $20 gift card.
Pages: A Bookstore in Manhattan Beach: There will be entertainment and authors stopping by to complement the special items for sale.
Skylight Books in Los Feliz: The store will unveil (and sell) its new Skylight Books T-Shirt. Starting at 7 p.m., there will be performances by bands that include Skylight Bookstore staff -- Fragile Gang, Young Jesus, Ukefink and more.
Small World Books in Venice: Hosts "blind date with a book" and will be giving away prizes.
Vroman's in Pasadena: At 10:30 a.m., there will be a crafting workshop, and at 2 p.m., the Impro Theater will perform Chekhov Unscripted. Plus giveaways and snacks.
A few Southern California independent bookstores that are not participating are Iliad Bookshop in North Hollywood, Eso Won Books in Liemert Park and Stories in Echo Park.
Elsewhere, at Books, Inc. in San Francisco, Dave Eggers will be on hand to edit the online dating profiles of willing readers, in a nod to his Silicon Valley novel "The Circle"; Washington D.C.'s Politics and Prose bookstore will host a literary costume party and a sit-down with Inaugural poet Elizabeth Alexander; and Minneapolis' independent bookstores have put together a map that will guide readers to all of them, where events include literary board games, F. Scott Fitzgerald bingo, and loads of free coffee.