ST. CLOUD -- A local business celebrated one of their biggest days of the year this weekend.

Granite City Comics and Games celebrated National Free Comic Book Day on Saturday, which also happened to be Star Wars Day.

The store had 51 free books to choose from and brought in a guest artist from the Twin Cities. Owner Tim Schulte says the event started 16 years ago thanks to free ice cream.

They had a free ice cream day down in Arizona, and the guy saw how many people they were getting there. He went to the publishers about doing the same kind of thing, about getting kids to read, and people to come into comic book stores and picking up stuff they normally wouldn’t because it hadn’t cost them a thing. They can just pick them up and go.

Schulte says the event does well, even in the digital age, handing out between 4,000 - 5,000 free books and seeing around 2,000 customers.

The smell and the feel of the books is never gonna go away. People like to have hard copies to read. They can take it in the car when they don’t have internet.

He also credits the blockbuster superhero movies being made with getting more people reading and collecting comic books.

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