Virtual Independent Bookstore Day

Exclusive books and art pieces
Social media love notes to bookstores
Reading journals printed on Paige, our book machine

Join the virtual party!


August 29, 2020
11:00 AM




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!

This year, we're celebrating Indie Bookstore Day online—selling exclusive merchandise on and collecting your love notes to bookstores via our social media channels, and releasing a special new Harvard Book Store reading journal printed on Paige, our book-printing machine. We’ve got reading logs for readers of all stripes—cat people AND dog people.



One of our favorite #bookstoreday traditions over the years was collecting your love notes to bookstores on a big banner on Plympton St. We’re partying virtually this year, and bringing that tradition to social media for #bookstoreday2020. Come tell us why you love your bookstore, on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook!

Exclusive Merchandise

The following items go on sale August 29 at 11am only at (not for sale in-store). This exclusive merchandise is available only at participating independent bookstores for Indie Bookstore Day 2020!

Ways to Make Sunshine (Hardcover) - $16.99 



Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Author Award winner Renée Watson writes her own version of Ramona Quimby, one starring a Black girl and her family, in this start to a charming new middle grade series about spirit, kindness, and sunshine.

Ryan Hart is all about trying to see the best in people, to be a good daughter, a good sister, a good friend. But even if her life isn't everything she would wish for, when her big brother is infuriating, her parents don't quite understand, and the unexpected happens, she always finds a way forward, with grace and wit. And plenty of sunshine.

Renée Watson is the New York Times bestselling, Newbery Honor, and Coretta Scott King Award-winning author of Piecing Me Together, This Side of Home, What Momma Left Me, and Betty Before X, co-written with Ilyasah Shabazz, as well as two acclaimed picture books: A Place Where Hurricanes Happen and Harlem's Little Blackbird, which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award. She is the founder of I, Too, Arts Collective, a nonprofit committed to nurturing underrepresented voices in the creative arts, and currently lives in New York City.

Poems of Resistance, Poems of Hope (Paperback)


Without hope, resistance has no objective. The media is saturated with uncareful language. In poetry, we find precision, peculiarity, and potential. Poems strive less for answers than enliven our questions. The poets in Poems of Resistance, Poems of Hope, take up these questions with with an eye for what's possible. These poems break open the human spirit, and remind us that through language, community, and art, the endeavor for empathy is not lost. Resistance and hope are alive, in the world, and on the page.

Poets included: Joy Harjo, Jericho Brown, Yusef Komunyakaa, Louise Gluck, Richard Blanco, Arthur Sze, Ada Limon, Eve. L Ewing, Camonghne Felix, José Olivarez, Morgan Parker, Ariana Reines, Hanif Abdurruqib, Jake Skeets, and many more.

Bad Citizen Graffiti Stencil: Toni Morrison (Stencil)



Every year Indie Bookstore Day create's a signature "Bad Citizen" Graffiti Stencil to highlight the authors and the words that push us to think, read, and be disruptive when necessary. This year's stencil features a timely quote from Toni Morrison: THE FUNCTION OF FREEDOM IS TO FREE SOMEONE ELSE

You Have Arrived at Your Destination: An exclusive SIGNED short story by Amor Towles (Hardcover)


A near-future science fiction story from AMOR TOWLES! When Sam's wife first tells him about Vitek, a twenty-first-century fertility lab, he sees it as the natural next step in trying to help their future child get a "leg up" in a competitive world. But the more Sam considers the lives that his child could lead, the more he begins to question his own relationships and the choices he has made in his life.

Mr. Towles's novel, A Gentleman in Moscow was on the New York Times bestseller list for over a year in hardcover and was named one of the best books of 2016 by the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the San Francisco Chronicle, and NPR. The book has been translated into over thirty-five languages including Russian. In the summer of 2017, the novel was optioned by the British director Tom Harper to be made into a 16-hour miniseries starring Kenneth Branagh. He lives in Manhattan.

The Art of Protest Postcards (Set of 4) (Postcards)



In collaboration with Amnesty International, Jo Rippon presents a stunning range of more than a hundred protest posters, from the iconic to the obscure. The civil rights movement, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the global outcry against the Iraq war all make their cameos in this comprehensive collection.

These postcards, collected from the book, are perfect for correspondence, collections, and wall art.

Jo Rippon first engaged in activism when she was eleven years old. An image of a devastated Amazon rain forest-inspired her to become a vegetarian and take a stand against a big corporation that was clearing rainforests to farm beef. Jo is a writer and editor of books for adults on music and art. She lives in London.

Not Quite Narwhal (kids tote bag) (Cloth)



Just for Independent Bookstore Day, a special kid-sized Not Quite Narwhal tote bag featuring Kelp, everyone's favorite "land narwhal" from the National Indie Bestseller and Indie Next Top Ten picture book! Features exclusive original artwork from author/illustrator, Jessie Sima!

Jessie Sima is an author/illustrator living and working in New York City. She grew up in a small town in southern New Jersey, unaware that she was a storyteller. Once she figured it out, she told her family and friends. They took it quite well. She is the author of Not Quite Narwhal (a Kids' Spring 2017 Indie Next Top Ten pick); Harriet Gets Carried Away (a Kids' Spring 2017 Indie Next picture book pick and an E.B. White Readaloud finalist); Love, Z (a Kids' Winter 2018 Indie Next picture book pick); Snow Pony and the Seven Miniature Ponies; and Spencer's New Pet (a Kids' Fall 2019 Indie Next picture book pick). Her upcoming picture book, Jules vs. the Ocean pubslishes in Summer 2020. You can visit her at

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.

“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

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