Independent Bookstore Day

Independent Bookstore Day is a celebration of books, readers, and indie bookselling.

Independent Bookstore DayIndependent bookstores are not just stores, they’re community centers and local anchors run by passionate readers. They are entire universes of ideas that contain the possibility of real serendipity. They are lively performance spaces and quiet places where aimless perusal is a day well spent. In a world of tweets and algorithms and pageless digital downloads, bookstores are not a dying anachronism.  They are living, breathing organisms that continue to grow and expand. In fact, there are more of them this year than there were last year.

RJ Julia Booksellers will celebrate all day with activities and events, and will offer exclusive merchandise created especially for Independent Bookstore Day by major publishers and authors. Since its inception in 2014, more than 120 authors have demonstrated their support for independent bookstores by donating work for Bookstore Day. These limited edition, unique items will be available only on April 28. Not before. Not online. And not in chain stores!

Connecticut bookstores will celebrate all day on Saturday, April 28th (and into Sunday!).  Pick up a copy of the Connecticut Independent Bookstore Day Passport at any participating store and get moving!  Visit 15 of the 20 participating stores across the state on April 28th and April 29th and get your passport stamped at each location. If you complete the passport (15 stamps), you will receive a $25.00 gift card from EACH participating location- all 20 stores – for a total value of $500. WOW! Join the party and show Connecticut indie bookstores some LOVE!

In-Store Events:

  • Small Events for Small People: 10:30am  

  • Scavenger Hunt: Complete the in-store scavenger hunt and win a prize!

  • Raffle: Sign up for our email newsletters and you’ll be entered into a raffle for a $25.00 gift card!

  • Books for Babies: We’ll be collecting new and pre-loved (gently used) children’s books for local non-profit Read To Grow.  All donors will receive a raffle ticket for a $25.00 gift card!

  • Blind Date with a Book: Don’t judge a book by its cover! Mystery, romance, classics, horror, adventure, science fiction… take a chance – it could be a match made in heaven! 

  • Book Tote Swap:  As Book Lovers, we ALL have a SLEW of  BOOK TOTE BAGS!  Refresh your own collection of totes- come swap!  Bring a tote, take a tote!

  • FIVE FREE Audiobooks + TWO FREE samplers, courtesy of!

The list of select audiobooks through our partner include the new release Tangerine by Christine ManganNew York Times bestseller Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor, and others which can be found HERE.

Be sure to create your account now so you will be ready to get your free audiobooks on April 28th and then come celebrate at the store!

From the winner of the 2015 Frank O'Connor Short Story Award, an exquisite, slender first novel set on the American frontier about a restless widower who heads west on a foolhardy and perilous expedition in search of unknown animals, leaving his intrepid young daughter behind to fend for herself at home.

Exclusive Items available at RJ Julia Booksellers on Indie Bookstore Day:

The Book Club JournalThe Book Club Journal 


Finally, a way for book clubs (or solo readers) to keep track of their reading lives! This beautifully designed journal has pages and prompts for writing your thoughts and opinions about the books you’ve read, keeping track of book club meetings, and more than 45 original, themed recommended reading lists from authors and booksellers around the country. Martin Cruz Smith gives us the “Real Russia” reading list. The booksellers at Parnassus in Nashville give us “Books narrated by non-humans.”

Includes reading lists from David Sedaris, John Waters, Lauren Groff, Stephen King, Martin Cruz Smith and more! Perfect-bound paperback, full color interior, 5.8” x 8.7”.

IBD 6 Dolllar.jpgA Book on the Table: Flash Fiction 


This year’s $6 Story is a collection of flash fiction from great short story writers including A.M.Homes, Etgar Keret, Celeste Ng, Amy Bloom, and many others. Each story is only 200-1,000 words and must contain some mention of a book, bookstore, or library. The results range from hilarious to poignant to downright strange. It’s a wonderful mini anthology of the form.  Paperback, 5” x 7”

IBD Onesie.jpgDragons Love Books! Onesie


A super-soft onesie for bookish babies based on Adam Rubin’s bestselling Dragons Love Tacos books illustrated by the wonderful Daniel Salmieri. Daniel Salmieri has illustrated many fantastic picture books, including Secret Pizza Party and the New York Timesbestseller Dragons Love Tacos. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. 100% cotton bodysuit, size 12 months.

IBD Whitehead.jpgFight the Power Utility Pouch


This handy 100% cotton canvas zippered pouch (perfect for pencils, make up, cash, and other sundries) features a quote from Colson Whitehead’s inspirational National Book Award speech and design elements from the cover of Underground Railroad.    “BE KIND TO EVERYBODY. MAKE ART. FIGHT THE POWER.”

Colson Whitehead is the author of six novels, including his debut work, the 1999 novel The Intuitionist, and The Underground Railroad, for which he won the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction and the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. He lives in New York City. 100% cotton canvas, zipper enclosure, 9” x 6”, Made in the USA.

Read With Me Horton Plush


IBD Horton.jpg“I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful, one hundred percent!”  A 1940 Dr. Seuss classic is now an IBD exclusive with a pro-reading, indie message on his t-shirt. Faithful Horton, of Horton Hatches the Egg and Horton Hears a Who fame, is a true collectible and very cuddly. Back of t-shirt reads: READ WITH ME.  Front of t-shirt sports the IBD logo. 6” tall x 7” long x 3.5” wide


Redlands, Vol.1: Signed Special Edition with Exclusive Cover


A feminist comic by female creators! A mysterious and bloodthirsty matriarchal force runs the town of Redlands, Florida, and in order to stay on top, sacrifices must be made. Inspired by the strange complexities of real-world politics and crime, the characters of Redlands play victim and villain, attempting to understand themselves and others through murder, magic, and mayhem. This special edition will have an exclusive cover and be signed by BOTH creators!

Jordie Bellaire is a two-time Eisner winning colorist for acclaimed projects such as Vision, They’re Not Like Us, Pretty Deadly, Injection, Autumnlands, as well as mainstream hits like Batman, Deadpool, Moon Knight, and Hawkeye. She is writer and co-creator with artist Vanesa R. Del Rey on the ongoing Image Comics series Redlands. She lives in Ireland with her famous cat, Buffy.

Cuban artist Vanesa R. Del Rey began her career doing concept art for animation. Her work in comics has been described as dark, gritty and mysterious with great dominance of figurative work. She has illustrated Scarlet Witch, Spider-Women Alpha, and Daredevil Annual (2016) for Marvel Comics. Redlands, co-created with Jordie Bellaire, is her first creator owned series with Image Comics. She currently lives and works by the beach in Miami, FL.

6.625 x 10.8 full-color comic book with an exclusive cover

Ugrateful MammalsUngrateful Mammals Signed Exclusive Edition (EXTREMELY LIMITED)


Each one of these special editions of Ungrateful Mammals has a unique cover hand drawn by Dave Eggers. They are true collector’s items with original works of art on each one.

Books are each individually shrink-wrapped. Quantities are extremely limited.

Before he embarked on his writing career, Dave Eggers was classically trained as a draftsman and painter. He then spent many years as a professional illustrator and graphic designer before turning to writing full-time. More recently, in order to raise money for Scholar Match, his college-access nonprofit, he returned to visual art. Eggers’s work has been nominated for the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Eggers lives in Northern California with his family. His novels include The Circle, A Hologram for the King, and Heroes of the Frontier. Hardcover, 11” x 1” x 8” inches

Event Date: 
Saturday, April 28, 2018 - 10:00am to 8:00pm
Event address: 
R.J. Julia Booksellers
768 Boston Post Road
Madison, CT 06443