Several authors will help Medina business celebrate Independent Bookstore Day

Pictured from left includes authors Edward Ashton, Kalynn Bayron and Dee Romito.

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 26 April 2023 at 8:17 pm

MEDINA – On Saturday, Independent Bookstore Day will be celebrated by nearly a thousand independent bookstores across the country, and in honor of the day,  Author’s Note at 519 Main St. has planned a day full of events, treats and fun.

Julie Berry, owner of the business and a New York Times best-selling author, has chosen the theme for the day: “A Bookstore is a Garden. Grow Yourself.” Author’s Note will be lavishly decorated with a botanical theme. Berry has also announced the visit of six authors, who will greet customers and sign copies of their books.

Julie Berry, owner of Author’s Note at 519 Main St., stands by a display of her works. She is promoting Independent Bookstore Day on Saturday, with a day full of events and visits from six authors.

The store will open earlier than usual in honor of the day, which celebrates, promotes and highlights the value independent bookstores bring to readers, authors and local communities, Berry said.

At 9:30 a.m., New York Times Bestselling Author Edward Ashton will be in the store until 11 a.m. to greet readers, answer questions, make recommendations and sign copies of his science fiction titles.

New York Times best-selling author Kalynn Bayron from Ithaca will include a visit to Medina High School to tell students about her recent middle grade novel The Vanquishers. She will sign books, recommend titles and greet readers at Author’s Note from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Her other new young adult novel is My Dear Henry, a Jekyll and Hyde remix.

Award-winning Buffalo author Dee Romito will sign books from noon to 2 p.m.

Local author Peggy Thomas will sign her book Hero for the Hungry: The Life and Work of Norman Borlaug and greet fans from 1 to 3 p.m. Her book is a beautifully illustrated biography for young readers of the 20th-century American agriculture scientist whose innovations in crop varieties founded the Green Revolution and fed hundreds of millions of people throughout the world.

Two other authors local to Medina are Darlene Baker and Randall R. Reese.

Baker, author of Going through the Gears, will be at the store from 3 to 5 p.m. to share her journey from a woman trucker to author and how she captured the story in her series of books.

Reese is a Medina native and award-winning screenwriter, comedy improv instructor and author of the Coal Miner’s War, based on the story of the Ludlow Massacre. He will be at the store from 3 to 5 p.m.

These authors who are appearing Saturday at Author’s Note include, from left: Peggy Thomas, Darlene Baker and Randall Reese.

Throughout the day, customers will share in scavenger hunts, various activities, games and treats. They can win a year’s supply of free audiobooks, gift cards and gift baskets. Several IBD-exclusive items supplied by the ABA will be available for sale or giveaway that day only.

This will be Author’s Note second Independent Bookstore Day celebration and the 10th anniversary of the event sponsored by the American Bookselling Association. Last Year, Author’s Note chose the theme “A Bookstore is a Candy Store for the Mind.”

“This year will probably be better for your teeth, but there will still be plenty of treats and sweets,” she said.

Berry explained Independent Bookstore Day was created to help communities, book lovers, authors and booksellers celebrate together all the community, fun and imaginative richness a locally-owned independent bookstore brings them that other means of obtaining books can’t bring.

“We bring authors in all year round to educate and inspire readers, and we support other types of cultural programming, such as musical concerts and swing dances,” Berry said. “We supply books in bulk to area libraries and schools. We create a gathering space for people who love books, and we serve as a delightful destination store for area shoppers. But, in addition, indie bookstores return two and one-half to four times as much revenue to their local economies as chains do. And we work hard to foster literacy and reading for all ages, and especially for the kids in our communities.”

She added in the late 1990s and early 2000s, the rise in online bookselling, chain stores and e-readers caused many people to predict the death of the independent bookstore. Yet, between 2009 and 2018, the number of independent bookstores rose nearly 50 percent. Harvard Business School researcher in a landmark 2020 study explained that indie bookstores thrive in an online-heavy book market by differentiating themselves along three lines – Community, Curation and Convening.

“We’re here because of the incredible support of our customers, who believe in the value of shopping small and shopping locally,” Berry said. “As much as we hope to celebrate what Author’s Note, as an indie bookstore, adds to the region, we especially want to use this day to toast and thank our customers for their loyalty and encouragement, which we rely on.

More information about Independent Bookstore Day festivities at Author’s Note can be found by logging on top or calling (585) 798-3642.