Independent Bookstore Day 2015

400 bookstores
16 exclusive books and art pieces
One day only

Join the party!

Store Hours: 9am-11pm


May 2, 2015
9:00 AM ET


Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138


This event is free; no tickets are required.

Join us as Harvard Book Store joins bookstores across the country for Independent Bookstore Day, a day for celebrating what makes indie bookstores special!

We'll be selling exclusive merchandise, debuting a brand new Harvard Book Store mug, showcasing displays of our booksellers' "Biographies in Books," snacking on fresh cookies from America's Test Kitchen, hosting a discussion of the power of fiction with literary critic James Wood (learn more here), playing literary scavenger hunts and Twitter/Instagram contests, collecting your love notes to bookstores, and more.

Updated Events Schedule:

  • 9am: Harvard Book Store opens! Exclusive Indie Bookstore Day merch goes on sale! Quantities are limited.
  • 1pm–2pm: Meet and Greet with Dan Souza of America's Test Kitchen. Shortbread cookies and book signing.
  • 7pm: James Wood discusses and signs The Nearest Thing to Life.

Exclusive Merchandise

The following merchandise will be available in-store, in-person only, beginning at 9am on May 2. Quanitities are limited.

We'll join 400 participating bookstores nationwide selling 16 exclusive books and art pieces:

Original Chris Ware Print
Original, signed, gallery quality print from Chris Ware. $75 [image]
[Please note: Due to limited quantity this item will be limited to two per customer.]

Books on Books Boxset
Includes contributions from authors Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Helene Hanff, Rebecca Makkai, and Charlie Lovett. $40

McCandless Infographic
A limited-edition, signed infographic print of popular books and authors from David McCandless, author of Knowledge is Beautiful and The Visual Miscellaneum. $20 [image]

Stripey F*@K Throx
Package of 3 “fashion” socks with Chris Moore/Independent Bookstore Day messaging. $16

Roxane Gay Chapbook
A mini-collection of essays on books, reading, and the world of contemporary literature by Roxane Gay available as a limited edition, signed chapbook. $10 [image]

The Finders Keepers Broadside
This color broadside from Stephen King’s forthcoming novel, Finders Keepers, is a love letter to passionate readers, written in King’s own hand. $12 [image]

Hyperbole & a Half Broadside
Bring a little Allie Brosh home with this signed four-color print from her remarkable debut, Hyperbole and a Half. $15 [image]
[Please note: Due to limited quantity this item will be limited to two per customer.]

I Love to Read “Bunsie”
Made of 100% soft European quality cotton. This onesie has snaps at the bottom making it easy to change and dress little ones. $18.99 [image]

Captain Underpants Print
Author/illustrator Dav Pilkey has created an original image of his world-wide bestselling character, Captain Underpants, especially for IBD. Printed on linen stock and signed by the author. $10 [image]

Huck Finn Literary Map
A map depicting Huck’s lush river journey that will appear in Plotted: A Literary Atlas, extended and expanded upon for IBD. $7.95 [image]

Bad Citizen Stencil
Suitable for use as a stencil or as a stand-alone art piece, this year’s stencil quotes Margaret Atwood’s poem “Spelling.” 12 x 16 on thick craft wood with detailed laser cutting. $35 [image]

Funny Ha Ha Joke Book for Kids
A full-color page-turner for the 6-11 crowd. Like last year’s I Smell Carrots: A Joke Book for Kids, this year’s version is made up of original art from some our best-loved and most recognizable children’s illustrators. $15 [image]

Days Like This
A collection of personal essays by many of our favorite writers who were given the prompt, “My [Blank] From Hell” and set loose. $16 [image]

Sweet Literary Tea Towel Set
100% cotton flour sack tea towels. “Sweet” towels feature quotes from Nora Ephron and Sherman Alexie. $20 [image]

Salty Literary Tea Towel Set
100% cotton flour sack tea towels. “Salty” towels feature quotes from Lemony Snicket and Pat Conroy. $20 [image]

A Literary Map of the Seas
A hand drawn full-color, gallery quality giclee fine art print of 24 great books set in the ocean. $40 [image]

More Cool Stuff

Harvard Book Store Mug
Illustrated by Andrew J. Broznya, the newly designed mug (featuring our iconic storefront) will be debuted on Independent Bookstore Day! $9.99

Hemingwasted Coloring Book: A Loving Look at Literary Lushes
This coloring book was created by the staff of Brazos Bookstore in Houson, Texas, as a limited edition to celebrate the first national Independent Bookstore Day! $10 [image]

Just what does Independent Bookstore Day celebrate?

Independent bookstores are not just stores, they’re community centers and local anchors run by passionate readers. They are entire universes of ideas that contain the possibility of real serendipity. They are lively performance spaces and quiet places where aimless perusal is a day well spent.
Indie bookstores, whether dusty and labyrinthine or clean and well-lighted, are not just stores, they are solutions. They hold the key to your love life, your career, and your passions. Walking the aisles of a good bookstore means stumbling upon a novel from India that expands your heart. It’s encountering an art book that changes the direction of your life. It’s the joy of having a perfect stranger steer you toward the perfect book.
In a world of tweets and algorithms and pageless digital downloads, bookstores are not a dying anachronism. They are living, breathing organisms that continue to grow and expand. In fact, there are more of them this year than there were last year. And they are at your service.

Learn More

Learn more at

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes

As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.

General Info
(617) 661-1515

Media Inquiries

Accessibility Inquiries

Classic Totes

Tote bags and pouches
in a variety of styles,
sizes, and designs
, plus mugs, bookmarks, and more!

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Shipping & Pickup

We ship anywhere in the U.S. and orders of $75+ ship free via media mail!

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Noteworthy Signed Books: Join the Club!

Join our Signed First Edition Club (or give a gift subscription) for a signed book of great literary merit, delivered to you monthly.

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