And for the first time in two years, there's ample opportunity to celebrate these special places in person, on Independent Bookstore Day, which takes place on Saturday, April 30.
This year's events feature many in-person appearances and signings by authors, and some stores are also featuring activities for grownups and kids. At participating stores, visitors can also pick up special Independent Bookstore Day items, which typically include signed books, special prints and stationery items.
Books Inc. Palo Alto Local authors Judge LaDoris Hazzard Cordell, Diana Farid, Erin Gleeson and Joanna Ho will be on hand to autograph books. Visitors are invited to get a free advance copy of a book and write a review about it that will be posted in the store. Other events include a raffle and exclusive Independent Bookstore Day items.
When: April 30
Where: 74 Town & Country Village, Palo Alto
Kepler's Books The day kicks off with a recycled paper craft, followed by a variety of children's activities, crafts, coloring and treats. Authors will be on hand to sign their books, starting with John Markoff signing "Whole Earth: The Many Lives of Stewart Brand" at 10:30 a.m.; Kai Harris signing her novel "What the Fireflies Knew" at 11:30 a.m. and Grace D. Li will sign her bestseller "Portrait of a Thief" at 2 p.m. Special Independent Bookstore Day items include: a Neil Gaiman coloring book, limited edition Curious George stuffed toy and an illustrated "perfect burger" guide signed by Anthony Bourdain.
When: April 30, doors open at 9 a.m.; activities take place 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Where: Kepler's Books, 1010 El Camino Real, #100, Menlo Park
Linden Tree Books Throughout the day, the children's bookstore hosts storytimes with local authors including Tim McCanna, Vicky Fang, Caroline Pritchard, Joanna Ho and Darshana Khiani. Visitors can also spin a "mystery wheel" for giveaways and discounts. Special Independent Bookstore Day items include: mugs, journals, tote bags, Blackwing pencils and special edition Mad Libs.
When: April 30, story times from 10 a.m. and 3:15 p.m.
Where: 265 State St., Los Altos
Feldman's BooksThe local bookstore will host live piano music during the afternoon.
When: April 30 between noon and 5 p.m.
Where: 1075 Curtis St., Menlo Park.
Leigh's Favorite Books, Bookasaurus The neighboring sister bookstores in Sunnyvale will be celebrating Independent Bookstore Day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, with a treasure hunt for kids at Bookasaurus and one for adults at Leigh's Favorite Books. Prizes will be awarded to those who complete the hunt, including gift cards and "mystery books" (books wrapped in paper with only a description available). Owner Leigh Odum plans to have a Jane Austen tea table with cookies set out and a book-themed cornhole game out front. Bookasaurus will also have someone on hand making balloon animals from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.
When: April 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: 121 and 125 S Murphy Ave., Sunnyvale
Ink Spell Books The Half Moon Bay bookstore will host a scavenger hunt at 3 p.m., followed by a trivia contest at 4 p.m., and plans to give away prizes.
When: April 30, with activities at 3 and 4 p.m.
Where: 500 Purissima St., Half Moon Bay