One of my favorite moments in the film The Miracle on 34th Street is when the employees at Macy’s department store in New York City begin sending shoppers to Gimbels department store when Macy’s doesn’t have in stock what their customers are trying to find. I was reminded of this special moment when I heard that eleven Charlotte-area independent bookstores are working together during the month of April on a project they call the Greater Charlotte Book Crawl. Their collaborative book crawl will culminate on April 30, 2022, which is Indie Bookstore Day. These participating bookstores are encouraging area readers to visit each other’s businesses and get to know what makes each bookstore unique. For more information about the book crawl, please click on the following link: https://greatercharlottebookcrawl.com/
As part of the Greater Charlotte Book Crawl, the participating bookstores are collecting donations for Promising Pages, a Charlotte nonprofit organization that provides area children with their own books. For more information about Promising Pages, please click on the following link: https://promising-pages.org/
One of the people involved with organizing the Greater Charlotte Book Crawl is Halli Gomez, the Events Coordinator at Park Road Books. I recently contacted Halli and asked her about the creation of the book crawl. Here is what she sent to me:
Owners and events coordinators at the eleven independent bookstores in the greater Charlotte area had an idea to make Independent Bookstore Day (the last Saturday in April) an event larger than that one day. We first began discussing ideas during Zoom calls last summer, 2021, and I believe the idea for a book crawl, or a similar event, came quickly. although we originally planned for it to be a three-day event. We did like the idea of an event that would incorporate all stores. We tossed out ideas like pins and stamps and other items as rewards for visiting, but because of time, most stores settled on providing stamps.
We went through the behind-the-scenes tasks such as creating a name, website, and the passport (thank you Jennifer from Editions for the wonderful creation!) and made fun “passing the book” videos for the Instagram channel.
As owners and employees of these bookstores, we love what smaller local shops offer and how they are a part of the community. Readers who frequent independent bookstores are not only in love with books and reading, but also the personal attention and knowledge they receive when visiting. We love to share that with all readers and visitors. Supporting independent bookstores allows the reader and bookseller to form a relationship based on the shared love of books and knowledge. In addition, shopping locally helps to create a thriving community for residents and visitors.
We’ve been thrilled to see so many people visiting the stores, telling their friends and family, and posting their crawl on social media!
I urge everyone to participate in this year’s Greater Charlotte Book Crawl by visiting the participating bookstores. Here is the full list of these stores:
The Book Rack – Charlotte
Editions Coffee and Bookstore – Kannapolis
Goldberry Books – Concord
I’ve Read It In Books – Charlotte
Main Street Books – Davidson
Park Road Books – Charlotte
Second Look Books – Harrisburg
Shelves Bookstore – Charlotte
That’s Novel Books – Charlotte
The Urban Reader – Charlotte
Walls of Books – Cornelius
The Charlotte area is fortunate to have so many indie bookstores. Each one of them helps make Storied Charlotte a special place for readers and writers.