Independent Bookstore Day 2016

400 bookstores
12 exclusive books and art pieces
One day only

Join the party!


April 30, 2016
9:00 AM


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, showcasing special displays of bookseller-recommend books, collecting your love notes to bookstores, hosting a very special "after hours" event with Kelly Link and Samantha Hunt, and much more.

Join Us for . . .

Blind Date with a Book
It's back! In February we joined bookstores and libraries across the country in setting up readers on "blind dates" with great books—here at Harvard Book Store, handpicked gems from our beloved Used Book Department. Our customers and staff loved it so much (even the Boston Globe weighed in) that we're bringing it back for Bookstore Day.

Our booksellers' "Biographies in Books"
Come explore an epic display of our bookselling staff's "Biographies in Books"—milestone books that have been important to our reading lives, showcased in the store with personally handwritten bookmark recommendations.

Homemade Cookies and Treats
Snack on treats baked from the Cook's Illustrated Baking Book. We'll be raffling off a copy of the book at 3pm, and snacking throughout the afternoon!

Bookish Selfie Station
Take a selfie with a favorite book at our selfie station and share your #bookstoreday pride.

Twitter/Instagram Promotion
Share your #bookstoreday visit on Twitter (tag us @HarvardBooks) or Instagram (tag us @harvardbookstore). You’ll be entered to win your choice of a gift card, mug, or tote bag.

Litographs Literary Tattoos
Pick up a free literary temporary tattoo from Litographs, and become a part of the World's Longest Tattoo Chain.

New Bookstore Tote Bag
Just in time for Independent Bookstore Day, we'll be debuting a brand new, gorgeously illustrated tote bag (designed by staffer Spencer)!

After Hours at the Bookstore
Join us after we lock up the store and turn down the lights for an exclusive, ticketed event—featuring readings by Samantha Hunt and Kelly Link, refreshments, late-night browsing by flashlight, and 20% off all purchases! Find tickets and details here.


1369 Coffee House
Our friends from 1369 will join us in the morning here in the bookstore with coffee to aid your browsing.

Mr. Bartley's Burger Cottage
Stop next door at the famous Bartley's Burgers for a special "Bookstore Day"–themed burger lunch!

Grafton Street Pub
Order and enjoy a special literary cocktail just around the corner at Grafton Street Pub, selected from Tequila Mockingbird: Cocktails with a Literary Twist.

Exclusive Merchandise

The following merchandise will be available in-store, in-person only, beginning at 9am on April 30. Quantities are limited.

We'll join 400 participating bookstores nationwide selling 12 exclusive books and art pieces:

Raymie Nightingale
A special SIGNED edition of the new novel by two-time Newbery Award winner Kate DiCamillo. $16.99 [image]

Draw Me!
Aimed at kids ages 6-12, Draw Me includes step-by-step instructions on how to draw characters like Mo Willem’s Pigeon, Curious George, Fly Guy, and many more. $16.99 [image]

“X is For...” Vinyl Record
A companion vinyl record to the New York Times bestselling Rad American Women A-Z from Kate Schatz & Miriam Klein Stahl. $10.99 [image]

Duck & Goose Print
A wonderful pro-reading, pro-friendship print drawn especially for Independent Bookstore Day by Tad Hills, the bestselling creator of the Duck & Goose books. $12.99 [image]

Neil Gaiman Coloring Book
Featuring colorable illustrations by Chris Riddell from Neil Gaiman’s Coraline, The Graveyard Book, and Fortunately, the Milk. $14.99 [image]

Curious George® Plush Doll
A collectable Curious George® plush doll with a t-shirt that reads READ TO ME on the front and the Independent Bookstore Day logo on the back. Curious George (R) and (C) 2016 HMH Publishing Co. $15.00 [image]

Ann Patchett’s $6 Stories
The first in what is sure to become a favorite Independent Bookstore Day series, $6 Story: The Care & Feeding of an Independent Bookstore by Ann Patchett includes 3 instructive essays and is SIGNED. $6.00 [image]

Literary Tea Towels
This set of two 100% cotton flour sack tea towels feature quotes on reading from David Mitchell and Anna Quindlen. $20.00 [image]

Perfect Burger Print
A beautifully illustrated guide to making the perfect burger from Anthony Bourdain designed as a limited SIGNED print. $20.00 [image]

Bad Citizen Stencil
The third edition of our collectable Bad Citizen stencil series features Fran Lebowitz’s quote: “THINK BEFORE YOU SPEAK. READ BEFORE YOU THINK.” $35.00 [image]

Bookstore Cats Pouch
A handy 100% cotton canvas zippered pouch designed by Out of Print and featuring portraits of real bookstore cats. $14.00 [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.

“Consumers control the marketplace by deciding where to spend their money. If what a bookstore offers matters to you, then shop at a bookstore. If you feel that the experience of reading a book is valuable, then read the book. This is how we change the world: we grab hold of it. We change ourselves.” —Ann Patchett, bestselling author and co-owner of Parnassus Books

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

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