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  • courtesy Chicago Independent Bookstore Day
  • This is the puzzle Lilli Carré created for Chicago Independent Bookstore Day. You should collect the pieces anyway.

In case you haven’t heard, Saturday is the first Chicago Independent Bookstore Day. Nine indie bookstores—the Book Cellar, City Lit, Open Books, Powell’s, Sandmeyer’s Bookstore, the Seminary Co-op and 57th Street Books, Unabridged Bookstore, and Women & Children First—are banding together to host a day filled with bookish events and giveaways that will, they hope, encourage readers to explore the city’s book culture beyond their own neighborhood stores.

Herewith a complete list of the day’s events. Warning: you may be facing some hard choices. Particularly fraught (to me, at least), is the 2 PM time slot: three very smart and engaging essayists are reading at Powell’s, but Paula Haney of the Hoosier Mama Pie Company is giving a pie-making demonstration, with free samples, at Open Books.

10:30 AM: Storytime at City Lit and Open Books
11 AM: Storytime at Powell’s
12 PM: Martha Bayne, author of The Soup & Bread Cookbook and former Reader writer, signs books and doles out gazpacho from Lula Café at City Lit
12 PM: Kat Barry and Jo Kaucher, authors of The New Chicago Diner Cookbook, give out free food from the Chicago Diner at Unabridged Bookstore
1 PM: Mary Schmich schmoozes and signs copies of her collection of columns, Even the Terrible Things Seem Beautiful To Me Now, at Women & Children First
2 PM: Essayists Eula Biss, Megan Stielstra, and Ben Tanzer read at Powell’s
2 PM: Paula Haney, proprietor of the Hoosier Mama Pie Company and the author of The Hoosier Mama Book of Pie, gives a pie-making demonstration, with samples, at Open Books
4:30 PM: Poets Anthony Madrid, Kenyatta Rogers, and Virginia Smith Rice read at Powell’s
5 PM: Five authors from the Curbside Splendor stable—Halle Butler, Susan Lanier, Dmitry Samarov, Scott McClanahan, and Juliet Escoria—read at City Lit
7 PM: Fiction writers Eric May, Joe Meno, and Shawn Shiflett read at Powell’s

All day:
• The first 20 shoppers at each of the nine stories who spend $30 or more will receive the beginnings of a puzzle designed especially for Chicago Independent Bookstore Day by artist and former bookseller Lilli Carré. (They’ll have until August 3 to visit the rest of the stores and collect the rest of the puzzle pieces.) If you’re a late sleeper or a cheapskate, you can get a passport and collect stamps at all the stores.

• 20 percent off purchase with receipt from one other participating bookstore, 30 percent off with receipts from two or more at Powell’s

• A sidewalk sale at City Lit

• Ten percent off everything in the store not already discounted at Unabridged

• Select titles 15 percent off, hourly raffles of gift bags filled with books and bookish accessories, free book samplers, and free gourmet cupcakes (while supplies last) at the Book Cellar

• Raffles and free bags and other publisher giveaways at 57th Street Books and the Seminary Coop

• Drawing for publisher giveaways at Sandmeyer’s

Aimee Levitt writes about books on Fridays.