Firefly Bookstore on 271 West Main St. in Kutztown joins the virtual celebrations of World Book Day April 23 and Independent Bookstore Day on April 25.
"World Book Day, as it used to be celebrated in the U.S., was something we participated in every year with free book giveaways, promotions and highlighting new authors. Unfortunately, that kind of industry-supported event that is still held in Ireland and the UK hasn't had support here in the US for a few years. So we spent today as we often spend it; surrounded by books, talking about books and putting books into readers' hands," said co-owner Matthew Williams.
While the store is closed to the public following social distancing orders, Firefly has been busy shipping books, games and puzzles all over Berks County and the nearby areas.
"We've been shipping all over the United States, in particular seeing a significant increase to California and New York addresses," he said.
Williams said that the last week of April, as it has been for several years, is usually the time of celebrating bookstores, with Independent Bookstore Day on the last Saturday. This year's event on April 25 has unfortunately been postponed until Aug. 29. This year, as in previous years, Firefly has planned for the day with sales, special day-of items for sale, and free giveaways.
"We're sad that the event had to be postponed but are looking forward to August, when we will have several unique items for sale, and special promotional items. That weekend will also coincide with Firefly Bookstore's 8th Anniversary, so you can count on special store sales as well," said Williams.
For April 25, the American Booksellers Association (ABA) is promoting the Virtual Bookstore Party using the hashtags #VirtualBookstoreParty and #BookstoreDay across their social media. Libro.fm, our partner in online audio books (libro.fm/fireflybookstore) has several offers, including 2 free audiobooks. Libro.fm is also helping to support your local bookstore with audio book sales and support the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (BINC) which is helping bookstores and their employees during this time.
In particular, BINC is supporting and promoting #SaveIndieBookstores, which has put together fundraising for helping independent bookstores with grants. This initiative was started by author James Patterson, with $500,000 in seed money. Other authors like children's book writer Rick Riordan have been offering matching donations to the fund.
For Bookstore week, Firefly is encouraging everyone to check out both BINC and Libro.fm's websites.
"Our store continues to be open for online and mail-order. We are also offering pickup by appointment for online and phone orders. We continue to add more items to our website each day," he said.
In addition to most of their book collection, Firefly updated the games and puzzle section, and added a new section called "Gifts for Book Lovers" which include Firefly's Mug and Sock collections, as well as their plush toys and puppets.
April 25, Firefly will post and promote these "Virtual" celebrations and hopefully connect more customers to books along the way. Visit and shop with us at www.fireflybookstore.com, or online at facebook.com/fireflybookstore and instagram.com/fireflybookstore.