Literary lovers will unite in Astoria, as one local shop will join the first annual nationwide celebration of independent bookstores.
The Astoria Bookshop, located at 31-29 31st St., is one of 26 bookstores in New York City—and the only one in Queens—that will come together on May 2 for the first nationwide Independent Bookstore Day (IBD).
The celebration comes after a successful Bookstore Day in California last year, and this year stores throughout the United States will host literary events including readings, raffles, scavenger hunts, parties, literary trivia and story times. An afterparty for Bookstore Day NYC will be held in Brooklyn at POWERHOUSE Arena, 37 Main St.
“I’m so thrilled to be participating in the inaugural Independent Bookstore Day along with my fellow booksellers in Manhattan and Brooklyn. It’s such a wonderful way to gather together as book lovers and celebrate,” said Lexi Beach, owner of the Astoria Bookshop. “Several of my favorite local Queens authors will be participating in events at the bookshop, so the whole day is going to feel like a big party.”
Participating stores will also be offering exclusive day-of merchandise created for Independent Bookstore Day, which is being produced by the Northern California Independent Bookstore Association in partnership with the American Booksellers Association.
“The entire purpose of Bookstore Day is to celebrate our collective success and thank our customers and the community of readers,” said Samantha Schoech, IBD program director. “For so long, the message about indie bookstores was all doom and gloom, but the truth is, there are more indie bookstores this year than last, and more last year than the year before that. Independent bookstores are actually opening around the country. We want people to know that.”
The schedule of events at the Astoria Bookshop on May 2 for Independent Bookstore Day includes a children’s game of Team Pictionary at 1 p.m. with local graphic novelists Raina Telgemeier (“Sisters”) and Dave Roman (“Astronaut Academy”). At 6 p.m. the shop will also host a literary trivia game show hosted by Tony Hightower of Trivia NYC and featuring a panel with authors Blake Harris (“Console Wars”), Lee Billings (“A Billion Years of Solitude”), Genevieve Valentine (“Persona”) and Christina Finnegan (“The Gorgeous Mosaic”). The night will also feature book-inspired cocktails and prizes.
For more information on the celebration of Independent Bookstore Day in New York City visit bookstoredaynyc.com.