Afterwords Books to celebrate Independent Bookstore Day


For the first time in three years, Afterwords Books will mark Independent Bookstore Day with an in-person event.

The bookstore, located at 441 E. Vandalia St. in Edwardsville, will celebrate Independent Bookstore Day from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 30.

This will be the first in-person celebration of Independent Bookstore Day since 2019. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Afterwords Books closed in March 2020 and remained closed for nearly a year and a half before closing. reopen in July 2021.

“We closed as soon as things got crazy in March at the start of the pandemic,” said LuAnn Locke, owner of Afterwords Books. “There was also a time over the holidays (in 2021) where things got a little murky again and we offered races by appointment, so it was just me, that person and maybe his friend.

“The community rallied around us and we were able to stay afloat through our website, and audiobooks through We’ve augmented our website with lots of used books so people can shop online and pick them up on our front porch.

The Independent Bookstore Day event will include the annual spring sidewalk sale, offering hundreds of used books in the parking lot for $1 or less.

At least a dozen local authors will be on hand to sign their books, including Jennifer Ward, Cheryl Jett, Chris Cannon, Kimberly Wells Kilgore, Jim Gillentine, Elizabeth Donald, Bonnie Swanson, Jeanie Ransom, Kathy Schrenk, Sela Carsen, Kassandra Garrison and Alexandria La Faye.

There will also be a chance to win a tote bag filled with Independent Bookstore Day 2022 merchandise and other bookish goodies.

“Anyone who visits between noon and 5 p.m. and takes a picture in front of our sign and posts it on social media will be entered into this draw, and there will be 20 winners,” Locke said.

The popular “Blind Date with a Book & Tea” will offer books for just $15 a set.

“We started this during the pandemic for people who weren’t sure what they wanted to read,” Locke said. “We take books that have been published in the last two or three years and summarize them in a paper with a brief description or book review.

“We put a literary-inspired tea sampler with this and tied it with a bow. People have fun because they don’t know what they’re going to get.

During the pandemic, Locke has found creative ways to entice customers, including the “Boredom Busting Bookstore Bundle,” which is available for $35 each and sold for porch pickup. Each package is first come, first served and prepayment is required. Some bundles include both new and “sweetly loved” books as well as a “little surprise as a token of our appreciation,” according to the bookstore’s website.

Afterwords Books also offers a selection of $1 bargain books on carts on the porch, where customers can leave their payment in the red cash register by the door.

“We use social media a lot to offer book bundles,” Locke said. “We did personalized bundles, mystery boxes and gift baskets. Like every other small business during this time, we need to find new ways to survive and attract customers. »

In addition to Independent Bookstore Day, Afterwords Books has a few other special events on its schedule.

The Book Bundle Blowout is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday, April 11. This will be a Facebook Live event where bundles of books, normally priced at $35, will be offered for just $20 each.

Customer Appreciation Day, meanwhile, is scheduled from 11 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 21 to celebrate the bookstore’s 13th anniversary.

“The Petaled Pail’s flower truck, Buttercup, will be available from 2-5 p.m. and we’ll have lots of goodies,” Locke said. “We will also have Beauty, from Beauty of Brittain’s Princess Parties, joining us from 11 a.m. to noon.”

For more information about Afterwords Books, call 618-655-0355, visit or visit Afterwords Books on Facebook.


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