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Drunk on words: Bookstore crawl sends readers from store to store

Brooklyn Daily
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Brooklyn will be crawling with bookworms!

A local literature enthusiast has organized a Brooklyn Bookstore Crawl that will set book lovers traveling from shop to shop on Independent Bookstore Day, April 30. The organizer of the event says that she wants to bring business and attention to the borough’s indie bookslingers — and that her plan is already working.

“I’ve had a lot of people look at the map and say, ‘I never knew about this store!’ ” said Ellen Wright, who lives in Crown Heights. “The goal is to support independent bookstores, both by bringing a bunch of people into the stores on that day and raising general awareness of the stores.”

The Bookstore Crawl includes 27 shops scattered from Sheepshead Bay to Greenpoint. Instead of leading a crawl, Wright has set up the event as a self-directed scavenger hunt, asking book lovers to visit at least five of the shops and to complete a different, pre-determined social media task at each one. The tasks are designed to highlight each store’s speciality, and might include posting a photo of a favorite comic book or posing with an author.

Those who a complete a five-store crawl will be entered in a raffle for books, gift certificates, and merchandise donated by publishers and bookstores. “I’ve been overwhelmed by the generosity of some of the sponsors,” said Wright.

The prizes also include one non-book-related item: a voucher for tickets to the upcoming Off-Broadway musical “Himself and Nora.”

Local book store owners have been enthusiastic about the crawl, said Wright, and some have planned special events for the day. One store, the Desert Island comic book shop in Williamsburg, will give copies of its comic book anthology to all visitors on that day. The store’s owner said he was thrilled to participate in the Bookstore Crawl.

“Anything that helps introduce readers to comics and graphic novels is good in our book,” said Gabe Fowler.

Wright plans to post itineraries that will link stores by type, neighborhood, and subway line. She hopes the suggested routes will help people to meet fellow book-lovers.

“I think a lot of people are planning to go with a friend or group of friends, but it’d be nice to have a way to connect strangers who want some company,” she said.

And will people be drinking during the crawl?

“I hope so,” said Wright. “I probably will be!”

Brooklyn Bookstore Crawl on April 30, starting at 10 am. Visit www.bkbookstorecrawl.org for map and details. Free.

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