Independent bookstores across the country have declared Independent Bookstore Day, which took place for the first time Saturday, a hit. Publishers Weekly reports that several booksellers compared the booming business they did to having Christmas in May.
Green Apple Books in San Francisco reported sales up 75% over a typical May Saturday. Green Apple spearheaded last year's California Bookstore Day; its success led to taking the project national.
Like Free Comic Book Day, which it coincides with, Independent Bookstore Day has special products that are only available in independent stores. This year's swag included a broadside by Stephen King, an original print of Captain Underpants by Dav Pilkey, a new collection of essays by Anne Lamott, James Patterson, Yiyun Li and more, a onesie celebrating reading, a mini collection of works by Roxane Gay, a literary map of the seas, and a stencil of a quote from Margaret Atwood.
Four hundred bookstores across the country participated in the first-ever nationwide Independent Bookstore Day.
In Cambridge, Mass., 20 customers waited in line for Harvard Book Store to open, while Porter Square Books saw its customer count double over the same day the previous year. In Georgia, Avid Books reported that it beat its sales over the same day in 2014 during its first hour. Common Good Books in St. Paul, Minn., reported sales 2-1/2 times those of a typical Saturday.
In Los Feliz, Skylight Books shared its anecdotal report on social media, tweeting, "great crowd here for #bookstoreday!"