"Record shops are as important as the records themselves." Whatever your personal thoughts on Noel Gallagher, there's no denying the truth of a statement like that. Record Store Day is becoming more and more of a necessity for shops to stay afloat, particularly with the rise of iTunes and similar online shops.

Vinyl is quickly becoming the lost art - so to be able to pick it up from a local shop is something not to be taken for granted. There's something very special about being able to rifle through the records, turn the covers over and slide the disc out from the plastic. Not only that, but often shops have a better - or rarer - selection than you're able to find online, and there are bargains you simply can't find elsewhere.

Not only that, but there's something undeniably special about holding a vinyl record in your hands and sliding it onto the record player. If you've never experienced that, I'm willing to go out on a limb and say you've never lived. Listen to the crackle and hiss of vinyl on a player and then get back to me.

Record Store Day brings with it some opportunities that you just won't get elsewhere - and it can be difficult to know where to begin. Here's a quick guide to some of the favourites this year.

Xtra Mile Recordings brings us a special release from Frank Turner, featuring I Still Believe with a double A-side of a Queen cover Somebody To Love. The transparent green 7" vinyl is something not to be missed, so keep an eye out for that.

Alcopop are also going green with an old-school cassette tape release of 56k Dial-Up, a first taste of new material from quirky trash-pop stars Stagecoach. There are only going to be 100 copies of this, so it'll be extra special if you manage to swoop in and get one. (You know what they say about the early bird!)

Don't forget Holy Fever's new release with Lifeline Records - the enigmatically named Ghost Story b/w There is a Light. A two song vinyl release, Holy Fever is a punk band with members who previously made up American Nightmare, The Hope Conspiracy and The Explosion - amongst others. There is a Light boasts a country-style duet with an anthemic punk twist, and Ghost Story promises to leave you feeling 'somewhere between a bonfire and a city riot.'

Record Store Day 2012 is shaping up to be even better than the last, so don't forget to hurry down there and see if you can pick up some gems of your own. Just like Christmas - it only comes around once a year.