The seventh annual Bookshop Day, on Saturday 5th October, saw around 1,200 bookshops participate across the UK.
Authors including children’s laureate Cressida Cowell, crime writer R J Mitchell, MP Jess Phillips, poet Sophia Thakur, and children’s authors Dougie Poynter and Tom Fletcher carried out signings, with literary events, a silent book disco, tree plantings and parties all taking place. Designer Yehrin Tong created this year’s distinctive Books Are My Bag limited edition tote bag, with 4,000 bags in circulation. National Poetry Day also joined forces with the promotion for the second year running, with poetry readings and workshops across the UK.
The hashtag #BookshopDay trended on Twitter as authors, booksellers and customers celebrated the vital role of high street bookshops. Emma Bradshaw, head of campaigns at the Booksellers Association, said it was "wonderful to have a special day to shine a light on the extraordinary work booksellers do".
A silent disco took place at Forum Books, Corbridge
Book-ish in Crickhowell, Wales, held a literary festival, while Edinburgh’s Golden Hare Books gave away free cake. Hungerford Bookshop in Berkshire launched Christmas titles with wine, a 10% discount on stock and author visits, and Elmer the Elephant made an appearance at Pickled Pepper Books in Crouch End, north London. Many bookshops—including Drake the Bookshop in Stockton-on-Tees, Westbourne Books in Bournemouth, and Hove’s The Book Nook—took the opportunity to celebrate anniversaries. Westbourne Books marked its 25th birthday with offers and giveaways and live music from a folk duo, doubling its takings compared to the previous weekend.
BA m.d. Meryl Halls said: "Bookshop Day, once again, delivered a huge amount of coverage, affection, support and social media attention to high street bookshops, and we are truly delighted with the campaign this year. Now in its seventh year, the campaign continues to grow and strengthen, and to engage more consumers, more media and more trade activity each year. It was wonderful to see the outpouring of love for bookshops on Saturday, and anecdotally we know that footfall was being driven into bookshops. The campaign coincides with Super Thursday, which helps extend the conversation into Christmas gift-buying, and certainly we know from talking to booksellers that it can kick-start early Christmas shopping.
"Our main aim is to remind consumers that bookshops are alive and kicking on our high streets, and that bookshops are the best place to discover and buy the books you want to own and give as gifts. Bookshop Day has really become a rallying point for the brilliance and centrality of bookshops to our high streets, and we are massively grateful for all the hard work, creativity and energy of all our participating members, as well as the publishers and other suppliers who help support the campaign."
Source Nielsen BookScan. Week ending 5th October 2019. Chart comprises only hardback titles published in the UK on 3rd October 2019. The chart uses data from Nielsen BookScan Total Consumer Market, represent- ing print book sales through around 6,500 retailers. Any title discounted by more than 74.5% is ineligible.