If you’re a book lover living in the UK it’s likely that you will be aware of a national book-giving party occurring in the UK today, Saturday 14th September. The idea, says the campaign’s website, is:
‘…to celebrate bookshops. This collaboration between publishers, bookshops and authors and is the biggest ever promotion of bookshops. For many people bookshops conjure fond images of book readings, in-store cafes and delight at the discovery of a new author. In fact, 56% of all book buying decisions are made by consumers in a bookshop and high street bookshops (both chains and independents) still account for almost 40% of books bought by consumers. Yet, many high street bookshops are under threat. BOOKS ARE MY BAG aims to halt this process by celebrating the nation’s love of bookshops, calling on book lovers to show their support by visiting and purchasing a book from their favourite bookshop on Saturday 14th September.’
I can’t imagine a world without bookshops and so I was delighted to support this cause. We were rather pushed for time today as Holly is singing in a wedding but we made it down to Blackwell’s in Oxford to check out what was happening.
The buzz in the shop was undeniable as people browsed through the books, listened to talks and had their purchases handled by booksellers in fancy dress (there was an impressive bunny in the adult section). We of course headed towards the children’s department and were delighted to see Griselda Heppel, a local author whose book Ante’s Inferno won The Children’s People’s Book Prize (read more about the book on her blog). We have a copy of this book to read soon and are definitely looking forward to it having heard Griselda read an excerpt from the story in the shop.
In the children’s section there was an arts and crafts table where children could redesign a book cover or do general arty stuff. Holly chose to decorate the free Books Are My Bag bag she was given instead:
With time rapidly running out, we then had a browse in the children’s section and bought three books:
- Wonder by R.J. Palacio
- Rooftoppers by Katherine Rundell (another local author)
- My Brilliant Life and Other Disasters by Catherine Wilkins
Despite a hurried visit we had a fantastic time and it’s been amazing to see people getting excited by books both on Twitter (talking about today’s events around the UK) and in the bookshop itself. We hope Books Are My Bag will become a regular feature in the bookselling calendar, and will be there to support it!
There’s still enough time today to get out and support your local bookshop, so please do. And tell us which one is your favourite and why! Tell us why we should visit it and send in pics!