Nothing says summer on Cape Cod quite like unwinding with a good book on the beach.

Local bookstores will help you get a head start on that beloved pastime with the creation of the new Cape & Islands Bookstore Trail. So fill up the gas tank, pull out the map (or use your phone’s GPS) and start exploring!

The Cape-wide trail – featuring over 20 bookstores – will debut on Saturday, April 27, coinciding with Independent Bookstore Day.

Nearly every bookstore on the Cape, as well as three on the Islands, are participating in the trail, which was created by Vicky Titcomb, owner of Titcomb’s Bookshop on Route 6A in Sandwich; Sara Hines, co-owner of Eight Cousins Books on Main Street in Falmouth; and Caitlin Doggart-Bernal, co-owner of Where the Sidewalk Ends on Main Street in Chatham.

What’s in store for those who take a trip down the Cape & Islands Bookstore Trail? There is something magical and enchanting about visiting a local bookstore, especially here on Cape Cod. Each has its own distinct personality, one-of-a-kind history, and charm; like opening up a book for the first time, you never know what you’re going to get.

“We want people to recognize Cape Cod as a literary destination – a place to not only find great books and bookstores, but to meet interesting and important authors,” Vicky Titcomb says. “Book lovers and avid readers often seek out independent bookstores in the places they visit, and the Bookstore Trail map makes it easy and entertaining to do so!”

Free refreshments will be served at nearly every store on the trail’s launch day of Saturday, April 27. Both Titcomb’s, which will run a cupcake decorating activity, and Where the Sidewalk Ends, which will be giving away themed cookies, have set the bar when it comes to food offerings.

Several shops will have unique books and items specially created for Independent Bookstore Day.  There will also be book signings; at Titcomb’s, Kris Frieswick will be autographing her debut novel, “The Ghost Manuscript.”

And if you visit five or more stores, you will get a button adorned with the newly minted Cape & Islands Bookstore Trail logo. Wear it proudly!

The trio organizing the upcoming event are using it to support the diverse array of locally-owned bookstores in our region.

“As booksellers on Cape Cod, we’ve heard time and time again from customers how wonderful it is to visit a locally-owned bookstore because often they don’t have one in their area,” says Sara Hines. One of the reasons independent bookstores are so vital to the Cape is that they help introduce debut authors (not unlike Kris Frieswick) to readers. They also bring notable writers into the communities and schools, helping to encourage a love of reading among the next generation.

It is why bookstores continue to thrive here – they matter and help to shape this place we call home. “Independent stores help give a community a strong and vibrant economy and give a positive character to our towns,” Caitlin Doggart-Bernal says.

So get ready to stock up on your summer reading list! On April 27, your treasure awaits, and can only be found at these participating bookstores.

Trail maps will be available at participating stores and can be downloaded on April 27 at Follow all the updates on Facebook!

Happy exploring!