Super Thursday and BAMB get underway

Super Thursday and BAMB get underway

Around 1,800 bookshops across the UK and Ireland will celebrate the start of the Christmas season with Super Thursday today (8th October) with a three-day in-store campaign Books Are My Bag (BAMB).

The BAMB campaign, supported by the trade and co-ordinated by the Booksellers Association (BA), is launching for its third year on Super Thursday and will culminate in “Big Bookshop Parties” on Saturday (10th October). Following 2014's campaign, Gail Rebuck, chair of Penguin Random House and of BAMB, said: "Last year Books Are My Bag was a campaign, this year it's a phenomenon."

Daunt Books manager Brett Wolstencroft said: “This is the year that BAMB is really getting traction with the public. The most important part of Super Thursday for us is being able to promote bookshops to the public. A lot of heavy book-buyers will already know that these big books are being released but now I think it is also focusing other people’s minds on the season, which is fantastic.”

Hundreds of hardback books - including Get Even by Martina Cole (Headline), Gogglebook: The Wit and Wisdom of Gogglebox (Macmillan) and Happy! by Pharrell Williams (Puffin) - will be be released on Super Thursday - the day the largest number of titles is published on a single day this year.

Today twice as many hardbacks will be published than in an average week, and 300 more than the following Thursday (15 October). Celebrities and authors releasing books include Bill Bryson, Chris Evans, Sir Tom Jones, Andrew Marr, Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, Nigella Lawson, James Martin, Gordon Ramsay, Julia Donaldson, Jacqueline Wilson, Pharrell Williams and James Patterson.

Hundreds of authors including Alex T. Smith, Prue Leith, and Alexander Mccall Smith will be visiting bookshops and the country’s "top" illustrators will transform shop windows across the three days. On Saturday, street theatre will bring high-streets to life as ‘bookshop buskers’ are invited by The Busking Project to perform outside the stores.

Around 4,000 Grayson Perry limited edition BAMB canvas tote bags will go on sale exclusively in the bookshops and 20,000 bags featuring Lauren Child's "hugely popular" children’s characters, Charlie and Lola, will be distributed to book lovers.

Artist Grayson Perry with his BAMB bag. Picture: Sidey Clark Photography

Perry said: “Pop in to your local bookshop. Book people are nice people and bookshops have become more than a place to buy books. In many small communities they are a valuable social hub for like-minded folks. But don't forget to buy a book too!”

Perry's design for BAMB. Picture: Sidey Clark Photography

Illustrator Johanna Basford (Penguin RandomHouse) has designed an exclusive colouring sheet and activity pack especially for bookshops. A special Cat in the Hat (HarperCollins Children’s Books) trail will take place between participating local shops and Where’s Wally, Walker Bear and Maisy will also appear at bookshops around the country courtesy of Walker Books.

National Book Tokens will also provide bookshops with a competition card where customers can win £200 in National Book Tokens.

Tim Godfray, chief executive of the Booksellers Association, said: “Bookshops are running individual events and parties across the UK so visit your local bookshop to find out what they are doing or visit”

The BAMB campaign aims to highlights the "vital" role of high street bookshops, and builds on the last two years on campaigns which created thousands of "walking adverts" for bookshops, through consumers wearing the BAMB canvas bag. This year's campaign received support from all trade publishers, including Bloomsbury Kids, Egmont, Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, Walker Books and Usborne.

Coinciding with Super Thursday, The Bookseller has asked leading retailers to nominate the top titles they are backing for Christmas across fiction, non-fiction, children's and cookery, which will be revealed in tomorrow's Bookseller magazine.