Writers support independent bookstores by working in one Saturday

Days devoted to shopping tend to leave us cold, especially the Walmart-friendly Black Friday, when long lines and huge crowds take all the fun out of spending money. More our speed is the Saturday after Thanksgiving, unofficially dubbed Small Business Saturday, which is one of the biggest sales days of the year for independent booksellers. This year, at the urging of author Sherman Alexie, small bookstores across the country — including several in and around Boston — have invited writers to work in a store for part of the day. “Here’s the idea,” Alexie wrote in his original letter to writers. “We book nerds will become booksellers. We will make recommendations. We will practice nepotism and urge readers to buy multiple copies of our friends’ books. Maybe you’ll sign and sell books of your own in the process. I think the collective results could be mind-boggling (maybe even world-changing).” Hundreds of writers have signed up. (A complete list of participating stores and scribes can be found at www.Indiebound.org.) Among the authors who’ll be guest-bookselling around these parts Saturday include Anne Broyles at Bestsellers Cafe in Medford; Kris Jansma, Morris Collins, and Jessica Keener at Brookline Booksmith; A.C. Gaughen at Buttonwood Books and Toys in Cohasset; Henry Louis Gates Jr., John Burt, Katherine Powers, Kelly Link, Margot Livesey, Randall Kennedy, Steve Yarbrough, Susan Goodman, and Sven Birkerts, among others, at Harvard Book Store; Sara Farizan at New England Mobile Book Fair; and Dawn Tripp at Partners Village Store in Westport. Wrote Alexie: “The most important thing is that we’ll all be helping independent bookstores, and God knows they’ve helped us over the years.”

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