Literary Love on Valentine's Day

New England indie bookstores will be full of love Valentine's Day! February 14th is Kids ♥ Authors Day, and over 40 independent bookstores will host 170 authors and illustrators to sign books for little (or big) valentines.

Independent bookstores and authors alike hope to kick off a new tradition of signed literary valentines, spread some literary love to families and strengthen bookstores' connection to their communities.

My favorite part is this huge list of authors' quotes on why they love indie bookstores:

"A bookstore is the literary center of a community. It becomes THE place to shop, to browse, and to meet neighbors and discuss books. Independent booksellers become expert, both in the books they sell and in the tastes of their frequent customers. Their recommendations are priceless. Locally owned shops also keep a local economy strong. 'Brief quote,' you said? Sorry, but I'm a bubbly independent bookstore fan!" — Kathleen Kudlinski, CT

"The Staff Picks rack is the first place you look, and few of the books on it will be bestsellers. You probably know the staff members who picked the books, and have a good sense of whether you'd be likely to agree on the books' quality. If you don't know the relevant staffer, you simply grab a cup of coffee and introduce yourself. You will find out what you need to know about the book as well as some gossip about the author, the cute thing the staffer's five-year-old said yesterday, and a full account of the staffer's last case of flu." — Ellen Booraem, ME

"I've appeared at events at several independent bookstores this year, and I've been so touched at the support the staff has given me, and the genuine enthusiasm and love for my book, and all books. One store in San Francisco decorated for a wedding, complete with champagne and a cake with two little figures of my main characters on top! There's no substitute for the way independent booksellers connect with customers." — Sarah Brannen, MA

"One of the reasons I create art is to connect with other people. I believe the independent brick-and-mortar bookstores are there for the very same reason. Many sit precariously on the edge of extinction, so they need our support!" — Paul Carrick, MA

"Asking an independent bookseller what book to buy usually leads to a thirty minute discussion about either a) literature, b) literacy, or c) literally ANYTHING. Independent booksellers get it." — Laura Dower, NY

"I've discovered some of my favorite books while browsing in independent bookstores. One of the first things we do when we're traveling is find out where the independent bookstore is." — Kate Feiffer, MA

"I love independent booksellers because they are involved in, and in tune with, their communities in ways that few businesses are these days. They always feel cozy and homey, no matter how far from home you might be." — April Jones Prince, MA

Also check out their Cafe Press store for Kids ♥ Authors swag — proceeds benefit Read Out and Read, a national non-profit that gives books to children in pediatric exam rooms.

Find out what's happening near you and do all kinds of good at Kids ♥ Authors.

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