Fit To Print, Great To Read: Idaho Celebrates Indie Bookstore Day
Throughout the pandemic, Americans’ reading habits have grown significantly. That said, many people have been purchasing more of their books online; and that has been particularly difficult on independent bookstores. So, this year's Independent Bookstore Day celebration couldn’t have come soon enough.
When asked about reading trends, Rediscovered Books co-owner Laura DeLaney said, “There’s an intense interest in books about social justice.”
But she was quick to add that there also a renaissance for books that have a happily-ever-after feel.
“The other trend is the exact opposite. Things that are just a joy to read,” she said.
DeLaney visited with Morning Edition host George Prentice to talk about this year’s Independent Bookstore Day celebration, how her colleagues will be featured on exclusive “trading cards,” plus her unique recommendation for readers who are looking for their next great read.
“We appreciate the people that really stood right beside us and helped us through this challenging time.”
Read the full transcript below:
GEORGE PRENTICE: It is Morning Edition on Boise State Public Radio News. Good morning. I'm George Prentice. The pandemic has indeed influenced our reading habits… with the number of books on our nightstands piling up, or queuing up on our tablets. According to NPD BookScan, they report a definite increase in book sales. But with so many people making purchases online, some independent bookstores in the U.S. are also facing a significant challenge. So, a celebration of independent bookstores can't come soon enough. Laura DeLaney is here, co-owner of Rediscovered Books in Boise and Caldwell and Once and Future Books in Boise. Laura, good morning.
LAURA DELANEY: Good morning, George.
PRENTICE: So how's business?
DELANEY: Well, I have to tell you, it has been an adventurous year and I'm really excited to have sunny days back again, and more options to be outside and really just starting to see change in a light at the end of this year.
PRENTICE: So indeed, you've had very specific protocols in place for the past year. I'm assuming that you are anticipating tweaking some of those protocols as some restrictions are beginning to ease.
DELANEY: Well, we are. And one of the things that will be starting in May is we're going to bring back Story Time and we're going to be reading outside at the Capital Park in Boise, and in the little garden next to the bookstore in Caldwell. So, we'll have Story Time starting up again here in May. We're going to be… we did a trial run… we're going to start adding live author signings in-store… not an author event, not with a gathering of people, but the author will be there and people can come up and get their book signed and have a short conversation.
PRENTICE: What trends have you noticed over the past year?
DELANEY: Well, I think first and foremost is an intense interest in books about social justice. So, you want to talk about race. These books are continuing to stay popular. Currently Caste is on many of the book clubs lists. And then the other trend is the exact opposite. Things that are just a joy to read, that have….the ending is happy, and there is a lot of joy inside of the book.
PRENTICE: So, Saturday is Independent Bookstore Day. How will you be celebrating?
DELANEY: So, this year we really took a look at Independent Bookstore Day and how much we appreciate the people in our community that really stood right beside us and helped us through this challenging time. And also, there is a resurgence in reading. And when we had so much time to spend some of that reading and engaging. So, this week, amidst a variety of things, is kind of a thank you party. We've got gift packs for everybody - that have things like… there'll be a free book inside of it. The best thing, in my opinion, is we made bookseller trading cards. There's a YouTube video up on our channel. It's on our Facebook. A card that has a sketch of each bookseller. And it's kind of like one of those collectible trading cards. And we have our superpowers, and what our skills are and our alignment. And so, it's very gamer. But every person who comes in and makes a purchase will receive one of these thank you packs and it'll include one of these trading cards.
PRENTICE: Ok, I've got just a couple of minutes. So, you give me a recommendation. And I'll give you one. All right. What are you reading?
DELANEY: So the favorite thing I have read lately is The Thursday Murder Club, and I keep coming back to it because it's just a heck of a good time. It's a current Edgar Award nominee and it's a bunch of people living in a retirement community that get together on Thursday afternoons and solve cold cases. It's written by Richard Osman. And this falls into that category of books that are just a delight. And I love the heck out of it. It just make me smile the whole way through.
PRENTICE: So, I am obsessed with a new book, The Invention of Miracles, which is about Alexander Graham Bell and his genius of invention, but also his obsession with thinking that he could end deafness in America. His mother was deaf, his wife was deaf, and how he came to believe that the world would be better with fewer deaf people in it. It's a revisionist rethinking of this person that we think we knew. And I I've re-read a few chapters already, and it's called The Invention of Miracles, and it's blowing me away.
DELANEY: That's neat. Fascinating.
PRENTICE: She is Laura DeLaney. Happy Independent Bookstore Day to you and to all of your colleagues. Have a great time on Saturday.
DELANEY: Thank you very much, George.