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Flintridge Bookstore celebrates its own Independence Day with local writers, activities

Patrons and fans of Flintridge Bookstore & Coffeehouse spent Saturday celebrating Independent Bookstore Day, a national holiday that recognizes the role local booksellers play as community centers, performance venues and places where people and ideas converge.

Gail Mishkin, who oversees events and marketing for the La Cañada store, arranged a day of readings, open mike sessions and activities for all. Pooches from Toluca Lake's Lend a Paw therapy program enthralled young readers who came to hear author Brenda Scott Royce read "Champion's New Shoes," a book about a dog with prosthetic legs.

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"The idea is not just to have books be at the center of the event, but for it to be a way to engage people in different activities," Mishkin said of the celebration, now in its fourth year.

La Cañada's Ellie Wildermuth discussed "Prepare! Life Goes On!" a survival guide written after she lost her home in a 2009 fire. Poets, authors and Young Adult fiction enthusiasts also participated in informational sessions.

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Children enjoyed a "Where's Waldo?" scavenger hunt with prizes, and book lovers were asked to purchase and donate children's books to Palm Crest, Paradise Canyon and La Cañada elementary schools, each of which provided wish lists for their own libraries. Donation boxes are still up for people who wish to contribute.

"This is for people to come out and show their support of independent bookstores," Mishkin said. "But I also see it as bookstores' opportunity to give back to the communities that support them."

Twitter: @SaraCardine

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