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Astoria Bookshop to organize parties with book themes at local bars/restaurants

March 1, 2017 By Hannah Wulkan

A bookshop in Astoria is looking to bring books alive.

In a new event series, the Astoria Bookshop is partnering with local businesses to host “Book Bash” events, which will allow readers to enjoy parties themed around different books each month.

The first event will be a “Decade Dance” at Flattops at 33-06 Ditmars Boulevard on March 18 at 9 p.m., and will center on three books about music and dance in the 70s, 80s and 90s.

There will be three DJs spinning tracks from those decades all night, themed food and drink specials and a costume contest for those dressed on theme.

The Bookshop is encouraging partygoers to read up on the theme. To gain entry in to the event, they must buy one of three books at the Astoria Bookshop or through their event page. The books this month are Please Kill Me by Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain, Party Monster by James St. James and Hip Hop Family Tree (Volumes 1-4) by Ed Piskor.

“We live in such an awesome neighborhood with so many unique local businesses, and we wanted a way to celebrate that,” said event organizer Kisky Holwerda. “I want everyone to have fun, that’s the goal, to get everyone out to have a great time, go to Flattops if they haven’t tried it, and find a new book while they are at it.”

She added that she and the other event organizers picked the three books because they all focused on the music and dance theme of the 70s, 80s and 90s, but were all very different from one another. The selections include a graphic novel, a memoir and an oral history, “so there is something for everyone,” Holwerda explained.

The Decade Dance is the first in a series of Book Bash events the bookshop is planning, and Holwerda said that she hopes to eventually ramp up to monthly book bashes.

“The first place I thought about was Flattops because it has such a funky, unique vibe, and that was kind of the jumping off point,” she said of planning the event, adding that the theme came about in collaboration with the Flattops manager while figuring out what would work best in the space.

Moving forward, Holwerda said that the bookshop plans to partner with a different local business to host the party each month, and that she and her coworkers have plenty of ideas for future Book Bash themes, and have already tossed around ideas for a 20s-style speakeasy, a formal ball, and a children’s event.

To get tickets to the first event, visit to buy one of the books, or purchase at least one of the featured books from Astoria Bookshop. Each book purchase comes with two tickets.

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