Independent Bookstore Day is coming up and I could not be more excited! As a kid, like many of us, books were my escape from everyday life. While I do not remember reading at a very young age, I do remember the first full-length novel that I ever read - it was Stephen King's Cujo and I was ten years old.

Big Book for a Little Kid

If you have ever read it, or any of King's writing you are probably as shocked as I am now that it was my first novel. It isn't exactly what I would call kid-friendly, but 10-year-old Kat Mykals devoured that book, savoring every page and chewing on every word.

Buried in a Book

Growing up as a typical Gen-X latchkey kid left me with plenty of time to bury myself between the pages of a good piece of fiction and forget about the myriad of things contributing to my pre-teen and teen angst. I almost never went anywhere without a giant novel with me.

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Bookstore Memories

I still remember while on a marching band trip to perform in the Peach Bowl half-time show, standing in line in a bookstore in Atlanta, Georgia to buy a copy of the third book of the Dark Tower series, The Wastelands. A woman approached the cashier and asked in one of  the heaviest southern drawls I have ever heard, "Do ya'll have that new book by Kathy Lee Gifford?" I cannot explain why that memory, of all the others that have long since been forgotten, has remained, but it makes me smile and always makes me think of my fictional friend Roland Deschain, also known simply as The Gunslinger. He and I spent a lot of time together over the years - there are eight books total in the series and I have read them all.

Vampires, Witches, and More... Oh My!

Admittedly, I read Stephen King almost exclusively until I was almost out of high school. I have even read The Stand... twice - Once as the original published version, and later when I read the complete and uncut printing. It was my senior year when a classmate introduced me to the world of the Vampire Lestat. Picking up a copy of Interview with a Vampire, originally written almost 20 years before I ever thumbed through its pages for the first time, began a deep love for the writing of Anne Rice, vampire fiction, and eventually the Mayfair Witches with The Witching Hour.

More Than Just King and Rice

Since that time, my love of vampires and witches has continued, as has my love of pretty much anything dark, witchy, sordid, or twisted. And while I do love a good, uplifting story (suggested read: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho) or a great piece on self-improvement (suggested read: The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz), I will forever love the magical world of vampires, witches, and magic. Lost in the pages of a book is still one of my favorite places to be.

Still In Love with Books After All These Years

I just recently received a copy of A Secret History of Witches as a gift and I made an impromptu stop recently into Evansville's newest independent bookstore, Your Brother's Bookstore where I impulse bought a book for the simple fact that the pages had unfinished, raw edges and I liked how it felt in my hands.

Celebrating Independent Bookstore Day

Independent Bookstore Day, or IBD, is a single-day celebration taking place at indie bookstores all across the United States. It takes place the last Saturday in April every year, with participating stores selling exclusive, specialty merchandise to commemorate and many of them give away free swag and gifts that day as well. Evansville is fortunate to have not one but two really great indie bookstores and they are partnering in honor of Indie Bookstore Day! In a press release, Your Brother's Bookstore tells us,

Along with the exclusives and fun free merchandise on offer, the first twenty customers to visit Your Brother’s Bookstore will receive an IBD cloth tote bag. Additionally, Your Brother’s Bookstore is teaming up with Bluestocking Social to provide a passport program. Customers who get their IBD passport signed at both bookstores will be entered to win a basket full of books and gifts.

Independent Bookstore Day will take place, Saturday, April 30, 2022, and you can support our Evansville indie bookstores by shopping that day (or any day!)

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Kat Mykals/TSM

Your Brother's Bookstore

Your Brother's Bookstore is owned by brothers Sam and Adam Morris, and if you have never visited, you are missing out. It has a really cool vibe and they carry books as well as board games. If you're looking for some cool RP games, stop in. They have a special focus on books by local authors and they also have a kids section nestled into a cozy nook-turned-blanket-fort in the back of the store.

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Kat Mykals/TSM

Blind Date Books

Be sure that you check out their "Blind Date" books. These are wrapped in plain brown paper, offering nothing more than a brief description of what you will find inside, because as the old adage goes, "you can't judge a book by its cover." Find Your Brother's Bookstore at 504 Main Street in downtown Evansville.

Bluestocking Social

Bluestocking Social, owned by Annie and Matt (and their shop pets!) is another independent bookstore that offers more than just books. Tucked away behind a bright blue door in a basement near the University of Evansville, Bluestocking Social supplies the city with books, art supplies ranging from painting materials to drawing needs, and printmaking tools. I have even purchased books from them that they ordered special for me.

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Bluestocking Social via Facebook

Unique Gifts and Local Art Too

They also offer a selection of unusual and unique gift ideas, as well as local art. Bluestocking Social is located at 606 B South Weinbach Avenue in Evansville, down from Honeymoon Coffee Company. They will have some special giveaways throughout the day and will be open with extended hours from 9 am to 5 pm on IBD. At 10 am that morning, they will be hosting a storytime reading with Southern Indiana author and illustrator, Todd Schimmell. Be sure to check out his three-book series, The Kids' Compass Series, which includes The Elephant that Tooted, as well as his other works.

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