Give the gift of reading to loved ones while supporting locally owned businesses

Liberty Bay Books hosts local authors on Nov. 25 for their Small Business Saturday events

BREMERTON — Forget Black Friday shopping: Small Business Saturday is a time to get a great shopping experience, snag good deals and help support locally owned businesses.

“Small Business Saturday is the independent and the locally owned, mom-and-pop answer to Black Friday,” said Kate Larson, manager of Liberty Bay Books in Bremerton. “People are always going to Best Buy for their super cheap electronics, and to Target and Wal-Mart and all that, but the day after, we wanted to do something special as a community.”

For a few years now, small businesses throughout the country have banded together on the Saturday after Thanksgiving “to give special discounts and deals and events,” Larson said.

Liberty Bay Books has two locations — one in Bremerton and the home branch in Poulsbo. The bookstore is owned by Suzanne Droppert, who purchased it in 1996. It is more than just a place to buy books, though; It’s a community of and for book lovers of any genre. They host book clubs, author meet-and-greets, art walks, coloring nights and more, supporting local authors and other local businesses along the way. On Small Business Saturday, they’ll be doing more of the same.

“Liberty Bay Books in Bremerton is having three different authors in the store,” Larson said. “They will be here for one hour apiece. We will also have coffee throughout the weekend from Friday until Sunday for $1 donations.”

The three authors from the area are Richard Baker, a former naval officer who runs his own sci-fi game company and wrote a sci-fi military novel; local author Ronald Lamont, who wrote “Risen from the Depths” and “Smoke and Mirrors”; and Bremertonian Paige Orwin, author of “The Interminables” and “Immortal Architects.” They will be at the bookstore at noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. respectively, for an hour each.

In Poulsbo, authors David Buerge at 10 a.m.; and Suzanne Selfors, Lynn Brunell and Carol Cassella at noon, will make appearances.

“People like books. People like to give books for Christmas and get books for Christmas. Everybody should give books for Christmas,” Larson said.

Small Business Saturday has been one of the busiest days of the year for Liberty Bay Books, which Larson enjoys.

“I enjoy seeing everybody in the Christmas spirit two days after Thanksgiving, so they’ve had a chance to recover from all the turkey. And (I love seeing them) shopping local,” Larson said. “(Small Business Saturday) is a time of coming together, where we see all of our regulars. And we also get a lot of people where maybe that’s the only time we see them throughout the year, but they live in Bremerton and they want to be a part of this event and support their community.”

(Larson suggested taking a page from Iceland’s playbook: Every year, the country revels in Jolabokaflod, or “Christmas Book Flood,” during which everyone receives a book on Christmas Eve that they open and then retreat to their rooms to read ahead of the holiday. Whether you celebrate Christmas, another holiday or just enjoy giving gifts to loved ones, books are always a welcome addition. And maybe a bookshelf to house them.)

Michelle Beahm is the online editor for the Kitsap News Group. She can be reached at