If you’ve been to your local bookshop in the UK today, hopefully you already know about Books Are My Bag.
BOOKS ARE MY BAG is a nationwide campaign 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.
Many bookshops have been celebrating the launch of this great campaign by hosting a Big Bookshop Party, decking out their stores with balloons, bunting and posters, all bright orange for maximum attention! Our local independent bookshops, Red Lion Books, was looking great, and even running a giveaway too, and I bought a copy of The Last Wild by Piers Torday. Then, we popped into Waterstones too, where we picked up a slogan tote bag, as well as copies of The Bat by Jo Nesbo and The Rook by Daniel O’Malley.
I really do think this campaign is spot-on; yes, other places sell books cheaply – Amazon, supermarkets – but without real-life bookshops, the world will be that much more dull. Bookshops should be places to set off on a fantastic journey, and it’s our job to show people that it’s worth buying a book there, where you can browse and talk to people who can give you great ideas about what you might love. Let’s get the message across.