With the holiday season upon us, GBH News put together a guide to some of the spirited events by local independent book-loving organizations.
Book Ends Winchester
Book Ends is hosting its annual Yule Ball on Dec. 2, featuring author signings, beer and wine tastings, and more. The next day, at Medford Brewing Company, the bookstore is hosting a Books and Brews event on Dec. 3. Booksellers will be on hand to help customers find gifts — as well as recommended drink pairings. The store is also hosting a holiday cocktail class at the store on Dec. 5 and will participate in Watertown’s handmade holiday market on Dec. 10.
“I think it’s so important that communities have their own stores that reflect the community’s values, the community’s needs and are there to help them out and to be there to get them what they need,” said Lauren Tiedemann, owner and manager of Book Ends. “Especially this time of year when everybody’s looking for gifts, it's just not the same shopping online. You know, we really pride ourselves on all of our staff being on hand to be able to recommend things.”
QT Library Book Disco
QT Library, an organization working to bring a queer library to Boston in 2024, is hosting a party on Dec. 2 at Forge Baking Co. in Somerville. The party is all ages (though minors have to have an adult with them to attend) and will have snacks, pastries, ice cream, lattes and mocktails. There will also be performances from poets and drag performers, and activities like friendship bracelet–making, a silent book auction and jigsaw puzzles. The party will be decked out in sequins, disco balls and rainbows.
Jake Stepansky, board president of QT Library, said the party will have good vibes, great community and lots of books.
“It is going to be a celebration of all things queer and trans books. It is going to be a communal, celebratory gathering,” Stepansky said. “It’s going to be just a taste of the kinds of programming that you might be able to expect someday from the library when it exists in a physical space in Boston in that it is a joyful, affirming, queer- and trans-centered space that is open and accessible to all.”
Trident Booksellers Boston
Newbury Street’s Trident Booksellers & Café has a stacked lineup of holiday activities. On Dec. 6, there’s the Holiday Sip & Shop, where readers can get personal shopping services for gifts, watch a screening of the movie “Elf,” enjoy tastings of coffee, wine and cider, enter gift card raffles and more. Trident will be selling books at the Sam Adams Holiday Pop Up Market on Dec. 13, and there’s also a book swap on Dec. 21, where people can bring a wrapped book to exchange and mingle with other book lovers.
“Supporting a local bookstore is not just supporting the bookstore and the people that own it,” said Ashley Prinzo, events manager at Trident. “It’s supporting a whole community. We have a lot of regulars that come to these events and support our local bookstore. It’s just a domino effect in supporting other local businesses and local communities and the people that enjoy these places.”
Hygge House Books Westborough
Westborough’s Hygge House Books is holding a grown-up book fair at Redemption Rock Brewing Company in Worcester on Dec. 20. Aiming to garner the nostalgia of childhood school fairs, the event will feature books and gifts for sale and beers on tap for drinking. Proceeds from all ticket sales and a portion of book sales will go towards building “book nooks” in Worcester, Hygge House’s project to set up a network of miniature libraries.
“We’re sort of targeting areas starting in Worcester where we can build a cozy little space for kids to be able to visit and read and then take books home. So, this would benefit that,” said Beth Orsini, founder and owner of Hygge House Books.
The store will also have a pop-up at Tackle Box Brewing in Marlborough on Dec. 7. And, on Dec. 14, the store is participating in the Icelandic tradition of Jolabokaflod (“flood of books”) where books are given as presents to read on Christmas Eve.
Porter Square Books Cambridge | Boston
Porter Square Books is hosting two grown-up book fairs, with one at Aeronaut Brewing on Dec. 3 and another at Trillium Brewing in the Seaport on Dec. 10, both chock-full of fun gifts, books and beer. They’re also celebrating the Jolabokaflod book-swap tradition, followed by a silent reading party, on Dec. 21 at their Seaport location.
All She Wrote Books
All She Wrote Books — which just moved to a new location on Washington Street in Somerville — is celebrating “Bookmas” with a private shopping event on Dec. 11. Customers can sign up for 30-minute sessions where you get a moment alone with you and the books, a personal book concierge and two limited-edition gifts from the store. Tickets for the private shopping experience are $20, with that price going towards your purchase in the form of a gift card.