This Saturday, get drunk on essays, novels and comics during the first-ever Brooklyn Bookstore Crawl. The event, taking place on Independent Bookstore Day, will feature no less than 26 stores, scattered between Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Bushwick, Fort Greene, Park Slope and a few other nabes.
“We’re encouraging people to visit independent bookstores in Brooklyn,” said Ellen Wright, director and founder of the “scavenger hunt.” Intrepid book lovers will compete for rare books, staff picks, gift cards, and other swag by visiting five bookstores, completing a specific task at each, and posting their achievements on social media (#bkbookstorecrawl). Other rewards will be made available by publishers themselves, including a science fiction prize, a foodie award and a mysterious cocktail prize pack.
Wright, who has a day job in publishing at Hachette Book Group, said she drew her inspiration from an independent book crawl organized in England every year. After contacting various Brooklyn bookstores, she and small team of volunteers came up with a list of 21 sponsors (those participating in the grand prize) and five partners.
What Wright hadn’t fully anticipated was the initiative’s instant success on social networks. “I thought we would have 50 or 60 people interested,” she said. As of now, the official Facebook event shows more than 4,000 potential attendees. “It’s great!” Wright rejoiced. “It shows that many people still care about independent bookstores.”
The Brooklyn Art Library is one of three sponsors in Williamsburg. “We’re very excited to participate,” said Marissa Passi, the store’s assistant director. “We anticipate that people coming in will be a little surprised, because they will find something quite different.” The BAL, which recently relocated, is home of the Sketchbook Project, a collection of thousands of crowdsourced sketchbooks.
The Brooklyn Bookstore Crawl will be free and open to everyone. “I heard from a couple people planning to come from Washington or Philadelphia,” said Wright. Meanwhile, Brooklynites will get to go on a unique treasure hunt and maybe find a literary treasure trove on their own corner.
Brooklyn Bookstore Crawl, April 30 (starts at 10am), free.