Independent Bookstore Day 2023

Exclusive, limited-edition books and swag

One day only at
indie bookstores across the country,
and celebrating its 10th anniversary this year!

Store Hours: 9am–10pm


April 29, 2023
9:00 AM ET


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


This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store joins bookstores across the country for Independent Bookstore Day, a day for celebrating what makes indie bookstores special. We're thrilled to celebrate the tenth annual Indie Bookstore Day this year!

We'll be selling exclusivel merchandise, collecting your love notes to bookstores, and more. Join us!

The Freedom to Read

“Books are under profound attack in the United States. They are disappearing from library shelves, being challenged in droves, being decreed off limits by school boards, legislators, and prison authorities. And everywhere, it is the books that have long fought for a place on the shelf that are being targeted.” —PEN America

This year for Independent Bookstore Day and Library Week our staff has gathered not only many of our favorite frequently banned and challenged books, but also a collection of resources to learn more and take action below. Spread the word! Protect the freedom to read in our communities.

PEN America: Book Bans Issue Page: Educate yourself and take action with PEN America's collection of research and reports, FAQ, and simple form to report a banning. [learn more]

Unite Against Book Bans: Action Toolkit: A comprehensive collection of talking points, contacts, social media tools, and material assets from the American Library Association's Unite Against Book Bans initiative. [learn more

The ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom: Resources from the American Library Association to provide confidential support during censorship challenges to library materials, services, and programs. [learn more]

Banned Books Week: Mark your calendars! The next Banned Books Week is October 1–7, 2023. [learn more]

Freedom To Read Supporters Say It's Time to Get Louder: Publishers Weekly comprehensive coverage of the American Booksellers for Free Expression's Zoom panel on “Local Organizing to Combat Book Bans.” [learn more]

Exclusive Merchandise

The following exclusive-to-participating-bookstores merchandise will be available in-store, in-person only, beginning at 9am on April 29th. Quantities are very limited and items cannot be pre-ordered, reserved, or purchased online. We expect many items to sell out quickly. We'll see you on Bookstore Day!

“She Chose Fire” Enamel Pin and Tote Bag

Sturdy canvas tote bag with inner pocket featuring an iconic quote from Celeste Ng’s third novel, Our Missing Hearts. Made in the USA.

Brass pin with black nickel finish featuring an iconic quote from Celeste Ng’s third novel, Our Missing Hearts.

London Séance Society Box

Celebrate the publication of Sarah Penner’s new novel, The London Séance Society, with a designed box featuring the stunning cover artwork. Inside the box will be a branded scarf, pen, candle and other swag to celebrate the newest release from the author of the worldwide bestseller The Lost Apothecary.

Tales of the Weird: An Uncanny Introduction Indie Exclusive

Tales of the Weird: An Uncanny Introduction brings together a chilling collection of stories from across the entire series, offering a brief insight into the abyssal depths of the British Library archives — with offerings by Eleanor Scott, Robert Aickman, William Hope Hodgson, H. P. Lovecraft, and Vernon Lee.  

Pure Colour by Sheila Heti Signed Paperback

A new novel about art, love, death, and time from the author of Motherhood and How Should a Person Be? In Pure Colour, Sheila Heti, tells the story of a life from beginning to end. It is a galaxy of a novel: explosive, celestially bright, huge, and streaked with grief and beauty. It is a contemporary bible, an atlas of feeling, and a shape-shifting epic. Heti is a philosopher of modern experience, and she has reimagined what a book can hold. Redesigned using the existing art for the hardcover with new typeface and cover seal saying, “Special IBD Edition” or equivalent; New material: The IBD edition includes Sheila's short story “Just a Little Fever”; Signed by the author.

Bibliophile: Banned Books 500-Piece Puzzle

Resist the silencing of important stories with this 500-piece puzzle from the author of the bestselling Bibliophile series, Jane Mount. The book-shaped puzzle box features a puzzle (15.5 in. x 24 in.) with 65 colorfully illustrated books, a handy reading checklist, and information on how to fight book bans. A percentage of the proceeds will be donated to PEN America. We will be offering this puzzle to the rest of the market on our fall 2023 list. It will be an indie bookstore exclusive through the summer of 2023.

The Bookstore Lover’s Birthday Book

Never forget a birthday, anniversary, milestone, or special occasion in this perpetual calendar book celebrating the best of the indies on every spread. 

“Meet Me At The Bookstore” Exclusive Water Bottle

This silicone foldable sports bottle is a good choice for traveling, outdoor sports, picnic, leisure, and health. It is also light and portable.

Independent Bookstore Day Blackwing Pencils

Blackwing & Independent Bookstore Day have teamed up for the third consecutive year to create a new set of pencils exclusively for independent bookstores. Each year the interest and popularity of these limited edition pencils continues to grow.

Little People, BIG DREAMS Amanda Gorman (paperback)

An indie bookstores exclusive for IBD: Paperback edition of Little People, BIG DREAMS Amanda Gorman with author signed bookplates provided by publisher.

The Poet X Exclusive Edition

This exclusive edition of the National Book Award-winning debut novel by renowned poet Elizabeth Acevedo, about a young girl in Harlem who discovers slam poetry as a way to understand her mother’s religion and her own relationship to the world is available in limited quantities to independent bookstores only. In 2022, Acevedo became the Young People’s Poet Laureate. This edition is a paper-over-board hardcover, including a designed 2-color tip-in author letter. The case is printed with 2 metallic colors for the award seals (the 3 seals will be printed on the cover). The cover is matte with spot lamination. There will be a banner across the bottom cover noting: “With an Exclusive Letter from Elizabeth Acevedo”. This item will have a limited print run, exclusive to independent bookstores for Independent Bookstore Day 2023.

The Lowly Worm Plushie

This 2023 product best accompanies a onesie as Lowly Worm is easy for little hands to wrap around in this style.

An IBD Exclusive Edition of The Mighty Bite by Nathan Hale (with custom-designed signed bookplate and deluxe, limited edition signed and numbered art print)

This special Independent Bookstore Day exclusive edition of The Mighty Bite includes a custom-designed signed bookplate and a deluxe, limited edition art print signed and numbered by New York Times bestselling author and illustrator Nathan Hale, created especially for IBD 2023 featuring characters from his newest book The Mighty Bite! This wacky, hilarious, and totally unique graphic novel makes a fantastic gift for fans of Nathan Hale’s Hazardous Tales, InvestiGators or Dog Man!

  • Limited edition art print is hand signed and hand numbered by Nathan Hale
  • Custom designed bookplate is hand signed by Nathan Hale

Jonathan Van Ness Love That Story Bookmark

Save your page and be delighted with this 3 in. x 6 in. custom Jonathan Van Ness-shaped bookmark celebrating his New York Times-bestselling book, Love That Story: Observations From a Gorgeously Queer Life, now available in paperback. The bookmark features a QR code, which grants access to a free chapter of the Love That Story audiobook. 

Heartstopper Laptop Sticker

Sticker your laptop with Heartstopper art featuring beloved characters Nick and Charlie!

TJ Klune The House in the Cerulean Sea Stickers

A pack of 10 vinyl sticker sheets featuring the characters from TJ Klune’s best selling The House in the Cerulean Sea. Each sheet includes 8 stickers. Perfect for laptops, water bottles, notebooks, and more, this sticker sheet will be a fan-favorite item that also works to promote Klune's latest title, In the Lives of Puppets, on sale April 25, 2023. Each sheet has 8 stickers.

Pete the Cat Pins

A die-cut pin featuring everybody’s favorite groovy cat, Pete!

Climate Change & Your Garden: Expert Tips and Information

It’s no longer gardening as usual. Heat waves, droughts, flooding, violent storms…the long-predicted extremes of weather caused by climate change are now on our doorstep, and gardeners everywhere have been impacted. Certain pests are staying active until much later in the season, many plants are blooming earlier, soils are eroding and degrading at a rapid pace, unpredictable rainfall is water-logging our gardens, and fiercer storms are uprooting trees and snapping branches. Not to mention the effects of prolonged drought in many parts of the world and the water rationing that comes with it. What’s a gardener to do? Climate Change & Your Garden: Expert Tips and Information will help you protect your garden against different climate extremes and challenges. The expert tips and information by authors Sally Morgan and Kim Stoddart (The Climate Change Garden) and Noelle Johnson (Dry Climate Gardening) will better help you adapt your garden to cope with the effects of a rapidly changing climate.

Ways to Make Sunshine Print

This exclusive inspirational print celebrates the Ryan Hart series by Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Author Award winner Renée Watson.

Ordinary People Change the World Independent Bookstore Day Event Kit

Celebrate Independent Bookstore Day with the Ordinary People Change the World series! This event kit will contain signage, activity sheets, and a photo prop frame so kids can take pictures with the message, “I’m an ordinary person who will change the world.”

We Love Indies Coloring Book: Color Over A Dozen Local Independent Bookstores Across North America

We asked our favorite Quarto authors and artists to submit coloring pages of their favorite local, independent bookstores, and they delivered! Includes a short quote from each author on what they LOVE best about their favorite Indie bookstore and a coloring page inspired by each store.

Warrior Girl Unearthed Independent Bookstore Day Metal Bookmark

An exclusive designed and etched metal bookmark inspired by award winning and bestselling author Angeline Boulley’s upcoming sophomore novel, Warrior Girl Unearthed, publishing on May 2, 2023. Set in the same community as Boulley’s #1 New York Times bestseller Firekeeper's Daughter, Warrior Girl Unearthed is a thrilling YA mystery about a Native teen who must find a way to bring an ancestor home to her tribe. The bookmark incorporates design elements from the book’s cover.

Tell Us Why You Love Your Bookstore

Come leave a love note to bookstores when you visit the store on Saturday!

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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