Today Is Bookshop Day
Celebrating bookshops big and small, Bookshop Day is the annual reminder that bookshops are so much more than just places selling books. With Christmas fast approaching, the Booksellers Association is encouraging customers to “Shop Early, Shop Local” this autumn, and to start thinking about their Christmas shopping earlier. Booksellers will be on hand to help customers choose the perfect gifts for their loved ones, both in-store and via their websites, phone or email.
With events taking place across the country, highlights in the North include:
Jeanette Winterson, best-selling author of 12 Bytes, and Mark O’Connell, author of Notes from an Apocalypse and To Be a Machine, will have a fascinating discussion at Manchester Central Library about what humanity might do next, in partnership with Waterstones. Part of Manchester Literature Festival, the event is in partnership with Centre for New Writing and Creative Manchester and hosted by writer Kate Feld. (Saturday 9th October, 6pm).
Lara Maiklem, bestselling author of Mudlarking and most recently A Field Guide to Larking, will be doing an event at Festival in a Factory in Stoke-on-Trent, in partnership with Waterstones Hanley, where you’ll be able to discover the treasures just beneath our feet, hidden in rivers, streams, fields, beaches and connect with people of the past through the everyday items left behind. More info here (Saturday 9th October, 11am).
Ann Cleeves, bestselling author of the Shetland, Vera and Two Rivers novels will be doing a signing at her local bookshop, The Bound in Whitley Bay, Northumberland (Saturday 9th October).
Graeme Macrae Burnet will be doing a mystery drop-in tour of bookshops in the North of England, starting at The Book Case, Hebden Bridge, to sign copies of Case Study and say hello.
Phil Earl, author of When The Sky Falls, will be visiting over 20 bookshops in Lancashire and Yorkshire in the lead-up to Bookshop Day to sign copies of his book.
Joe Shute, Yorkshire-based journalist and author of Forecast: A Diary of the Lost Seasons, will be doing an event at Ilkley Lit Festival with books sold by The Grove Bookshop. (Saturday 9th October, 12:30pm).
Catherine Menon and Neema Shah will have a panel discussion about their debut novels. Fragile Monsters by Menon traces one family’s story from 1920 to the present day, while Shah’s Kololo Hill is set during the expulsion of Ugandan Asians by Idi Amin and follows an Asian Ugandan family whose lives are torn apart in 1972 as they must leave the country. The event is part of Ilkley Literature Festival in partnership with The Grove Bookshop. (Saturday 9th October, 3pm)
Piers Torday, author of The Wild Before, will be recording a special episode with award-winning podcast Writers Routine, to be released just in time for Bookshop Day. (Saturday 9th October).
Really Big Pants will be performing at Pickled Pepper Books in Crouch End. The show will be Clare and Cory Share a (Glorious) Story with an accompanying longer form picture book, illustrated by the award-winning Steve Smallman. (Saturday 9th October, 10-11:30am).
James Norbury will be doing a bespoke painting in the shop window of Book-ish in Crickhowell for his new release, Big Panda and Tiny Dragon on Friday 8th October. The following day, he will then be in the shop for the day to sign copies of his book (Saturday 9th October).
The Book Nook in Stewarton is holding 'Activities with Authors' throughout Bookshop Day, where authors will be chatting to customers, signing books and doing specially planned activities. Authors include Petra Baillie, author and illustrator of a range of children's books including Illustrate your Own books and The Strange and Wonderful Adventures of Pippa; Sharon Baillie, author of Magenta Opium; Jerry Brannigan, author of Robert Burns in Edinburgh; Lindsay Littleson, author of a range of children's books including The Titanic Detective Agency, Secrets of the Last Merfolk and Guardians of the Lost Unicorns; and Hannah Willow, expert in mindfulness for children, author of Just Be (Saturday 9th October).
Truman Books in Leeds will be hosting a number of events, including a late-night shopping event with free glass of bubbles (Thursday 7th October) and storytime for under-fives, a kids writing and a drawing competition to win a £10 book token, a free tote bag with all purchases over £30 (Saturday 9th October).
Picaresque Books & Galerie Fantoosh in Dingwall will be holding a "Gathering of Authors" for Bookshop Day, with local authors donating signed copies of their books to go for auction in aid of Book Aid. Signed books by Ian Rankin, Val McDermid, Mark Billingham, Graeme Macrae Burnett and S.G. Maclean will be available and local authors including Barbara Henderson, Helen Sedgwick, Brian Devlin, Margaret Kirk, Virginian Crow, Morven-May McCallum, Verity Walker Eley, Sharon Gunnason Pottinger and Norman Newton will pop in the shop during the day (Saturday 9th October).
Typeset Space, a new community bookshop and co-working space in Rotherham, will be giving £5 vouchers to people who bring them a five-line poem (known as a "quintain" - this could be a limerick, a verse of a sonnet, a Japanese-style tanka, or any other format you like!). They will select five poems per day to award with vouchers, to be used in store. More info here (Tuesday 5th – Saturday 9th October).
Cambridge University Press Bookshop will be offering 10% off all books on Bookshop Day for all customers who mention “Bookshop Day”. They are also offering a free branded tote bag with every associated purchase (Saturday 9th October).
B For Butterfly Books in Sale, Greater Manchester will be holding a ‘Family Fun Day’ to mark Bookshop Day. The event is free to attend, but the bookshop is asking attendees to consider donating to one of the charities supported by Emporium M3, including clean empty crisp packets to Cyril Flint Befrienders, plastic milk bottle tops to Pathfinder Dogs, used postage stamps to Nightingale Centre at Wytheshawe Hospital, pet food to Cats of M33, and second hand bras, football kits and boots to Bras for Africa. (Saturday 9th October, 10am-5pm)
Graeme Macrae Burnet
Bookshop Day will be working with TikTok influencers for the first time this year, with some of the most popular BookTokers in the UK helping celebrate bookshops, and encouraging their thousands of followers to do the same.
Coming from up and down the country, from Wolverhampton to Surrey to Sunderland, confirmed BookTokers include: caitlinreadsbooks (61.1k followers), whatbritreads (46.8k followers), the_caffeinatedreader (31.5k followers), anya.reads (54.2k followers), cultofbooks (48.2k followers) and more.
They will be creating exclusive content in their local bookshops, as well as showcasing their favourite books to read on Bookshop Day and beyond.
Award-winning illustrator Dapo Adeola is the creator of this year’s Books Are My Bag Limited-Edition Bag, which will be available exclusively in bookshops from Bookshop Day.
Joining the likes of artists and illustrators such as Charlie Mackesy, Sir Peter Blake, Grayson Perry, Tracey Emin and Orla Kiely, who have designed previous editions of the bag, due to popular demand Dapo’s bag has had the biggest run for a Limited-Edition Bag since Bookshop Day began.
Bookshop.org Free Shipping
, the book-buying website on a mission to support independent bookshops and literary culture, will be offering free shipping on all purchases made through their website on Bookshop Day.
encourages customers to shop at their local bookshop as much as possible, and offers a brilliant ethical alternative to anyone who wants to purchase their books online while supporting bookshops across the UK.
Opening its doors just after Bookshop Day, Afrori Books will be the UK's biggest supplier of books by Black authors, and Brighton's first Black-owned bookshop. After operating online for more than a year, owner Carolynn Bain launched a crowdfunding effort on her website to raise £10,000, allowing her to open a bricks and mortar bookshop.
Meanwhile, the independent community bookshop Once Upon a Time Bookshop in Alston, Cumbria will be moving into a new shop and will be reopening on Bookshop Day, as they opened their previous shop three years ago on Bookshop Day 2018.
Piers Torday, author of The Wild Before, said:
"My favourite bookshop is Pickled Pepper Books in Crouch End, North London – not just because they have supported my books from the very start, but it is a wonderful shop, so welcoming to children and families. Steve and Urmi are always ahead of the curve, and understood early on how the bookshop experience was changing; they converted a room above the store into a children's theatre, they went full on into supplying school events (including mine) and can also happily fulfil any order, children's or adult. They've just opened a new pop-up shop in Enfield, and I hope to be popping by there soon, because buying a book at Pickled Pepper is always a joy."
Emma Bradshaw, Head of Campaigns at the Booksellers Association, said:
“One week to Bookshop Day, and we’re already buzzing with excitement! From organising poetry competitions and spoken word sets to secretly dropping books around town, to mind-blowing window displays – the creativity of booksellers knows no limit, and they will have something in store for everyone this Bookshop Day. As the beating hearts of their communities, bookshops getting involved in charitable initiatives is a real testament to the incredible contribution they bring to the high street, and the local communities they serve. We wish everyone a wonderful Bookshop Day!”
Details of Bookshop Day events taking place across the country can be found on the Books are My Bag Facebook events page.
Follow the latest development on social media via @booksaremybag / #BookshopDay