Inaugural book crawl comes to Indianapolis

You’ve heard of a bar crawl, but have you heard of a book crawl? Well, it’s exactly what it sounds like (with presumably less alcohol). A book crawl involves visiting several independent bookstores as a way to support local businesses, connect with fellow book lovers and win prizes or rewards.

With the help of Indiana Humanities, Tomorrow Bookstore’s co-owner Jake Budler founded Indianapolis’ very own crawl, cleverly named “Indy Indie Book Crawl.” From March 21–24, 23 independent bookstores in the Indianapolis metro area participated in the book crawl. The goal was to visit as many stores as possible, receiving an IIBC bookmark from every participating store. Organizers recommended visiting as many as possible, as each visit earned one entry into winning potential prizes.

When asked where the inspiration came from, Budler said over email, “We were inspired and motivated by other great cities’ crawls—specifically Cincinnati and Chicago. Don’t reinvent the wheel—just make it your own!”

“There are three Grand Prizes. Each one has [a] $25 bookstore gift card, merch items, and a collection of books,” Budler said.

If this sounds like a lot of work to organize, it was. Budler revealed that it took about three months of planning, explaining, “It’s about building the framework (dates, times, logistics), then signing up stores […] and finally promoting and marketing.”

When asked why people should participate, outside of the prize benefit Budler said, “It’s first and foremost about discovering new bookstores and books! There are 23 participating stores - most folks haven’t ever explored all of them! Beyond that - buying/supporting independent bookstores is a great win for your community and local economy.”

Laynie Rearick (she/her) is a freshman majoring in American Sign Language interpretation and was co-editor of her high school’s newspaper. She joined Campus Citizen because she likes to write and has a lot of opinions.

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