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BENNINGTON >> Following the runaway success of last year's California Bookstore Day, bookstores across the nation are now preparing for Independent Bookstore Day, a country-wide celebration of books and independent bookstores on May 2. From the Bay Area to Bennington, book lovers should mark their calendars for this special day of literary parties.

The Bennington Bookshop has a series of activities planned for the day, including a children's story hour, author readings and conversations, raffles and giveaways, as well as a cheese and wine reception to celebrate books and book people. There will also be a store-wide discount on book purchases throughout the day.

"Phil and I are looking forward to Independent Bookstore Day," says Linda Foulsham, new owner of The Bennington Bookshop with her husband, Phil Lewis. "We have planned a special day to thank the Bennington community for their warm welcome and continued support of the bookshop. We are thrilled to be in Bennington and to be part of the downtown business community."

The first National Independent Bookstore Day is sponsored in part by Penguin Random House and The American Booksellers Association.

"It's a fantastic and festive way to bring new readers into bookstores, and to strengthen relationships with existing customers." said Jaci Updike, president, Sales of Penguin Random House U.S. "It's a privilege for Penguin Random House to be the first publisher sponsor of Independent Bookstore Day."

"The entire purpose of Independent Bookstore Day is to celebrate our collective success and thank our customers and the community of readers," says IBD program director Samantha Schoech. "For so long, the message about indie bookstores was all doom and gloom, but the truth is, there are more indie bookstores this year than last, and more last year than the year before that. Independent bookstores are actually opening around the country. We want people to know that."

The Bennington Bookshop is Vermont's oldest independent bookstore, selling books to Bennington readers since 1928. Owners Linda Foulsham and Phil Lewis recently purchased the business from Rick and Ellen Havlak, who had owned and run the store for 35 years. The Bennington Bookshop carries a wide range of new books, including those featured on the New England Independent Booksellers Association best sellers list. The bookshop has an extensive children's section and stocks a selection of quality cards for all occasions.

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Schedule of Events on May 2:

10:30 a.m.: Story time for children with Chris Gingo

11:30 a.m.: Local author, Shawn MacKenzie

2 p.m.: Local historian, Joe Hall

3 p.m.: Local poet, Steve Haggerty

4 p.m.: Local author, John Goodrich

5 to 7 p.m.: Cheese and wine and book conversations.


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