The Book Keeper in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada is my ‘go to’ to place to shop. So let me tell you about my passionate love affair with an indie bookstore!
Walking into any bookstore will always give me the warm and fuzzies, where sensory overload becomes something I crave rather than avoid. The smell of crisp pages, the bright pops of tantalizing covers, and the squeals of excitement as other patrons find new books that cause sleep deprivation. My local indie shop, The Book Keeper, checks all those boxes and more.
It’s a warm, inviting place where the staff works hard to make sure it stays a safe space for everyone excited about books. If they don’t have it, they will get it! As a small shop, they do a lot of special ordering and are sneaky in being able to get even the most obscure reads. Trust me. I’ve had them order some weird stuff. They never judge, and most of the time, the staff are intrigued by something they haven’t heard of.
The Book Keeper staff is devoted to connecting readers with diverse spines, indie authors, and local artists all year round.
Yes, they have special displays for Pride or Black History month when they happen. But many people don’t know that they have a 2SLGBTQ+ section, Anti-Racist display, BIPOC author features, Feminist reads, and Indigenous history section all the other months of the year as well. They’re bringing diverse spines all year round and promoting local authors whenever possible. Not sure where to start in your diverse spine journey? Ask a staff member.
The employees are all frequent readers committed to helping your passion for reading grow. One of my favorite spots in the whole store is the staff picks shelves. It’s a way of getting to know the team through their reads and seeing who aligns with your tastes the most. It makes it super easy to find the staff member who can recommend the perfect book (for any mood) since they all read different genres. This has been amazing in stretching my reading genres since anyone who reads is always happy to help you get addicted to their favorite books. And they post a bunch of recommendations on their social media too.
On top of book recs, the staff is creating all kinds of other cool content.
TikTok’s about book boyfriend daydreams, cowboy crushes, book aesthetics, and obsessively trying to get coworkers (Julie) to read romance books (I really hope Laura succeeds). Is TikTok not your thing? They got Bookface Fridays on Instagram & Facebook. The staff picks a new book every Friday and recreates it while still incorporating the actual book; it’s brilliant!
Now, are you ready for the juicy bits? This small indie bookstore stole my heart with these special features.
Along with the usual bookstore bits of author interviews, book signings, and events for tiny humans, they also do MORE:
- They give you points for every purchase you make, and you can use them for free books. This has been amazing when I forget about a pre-ordered book and can’t really afford to spend money when it arrives. Bookworm problem #371 is solved.
- They deliver anywhere. In our area, if you spend over $100 (which, let’s be honest, is really not hard to do), the $5-10 delivery fee is waived. They will also ship Worldwide (the cost of shipping is extra), so you can shop indie for all your friends, no matter where they live!
- Drag Queen Storytime. It has Drag Queens reading stories. I really don’t know why you haven’t moved here already. Need another reason? Okay.
- They will accept gift cards from other stores. You heard me, got a coffee shop gift card you don’t want? Bring it to The Book Keeper and buy books instead. I am obsessed with this option! They will take gift cards for Hardware stores, pizza places, dollar stores, grocers, and more. Basically, anywhere (local) that will allow them to purchase items the store needs for improvements or upcoming events. So, pretty much every gift card I get is free books; this makes my heart sing!
Tell me your favorite indie bookstores and why you love them. I am always looking for new bookstores to visit.
The Book Keeper is located in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, and can be found online at:
Website: https://sarniabookkeeper.com/ Instagram: @sarniabookkeeper TikTok: @sarniabookkeeper Facebook: @thebookkeeper Twitter: @bookkeeperbooks