Bookshop Day 'went brilliantly', say booksellers

Bookshop Day 'went brilliantly', say booksellers

Bookshops up and down the country say they saw footfall increase on Saturday (8th October) thanks to the Bookshop Day campaign, organised by Booksellers Association.

The initiative, launched in 2016, was created to encourage customers to buy books in their local bookshops and this year’s celebrations included a ‘Books Are My Bag’ tote designed by Peter Blake and poetry events run in association with National Poetry Day.

Mr B’s Emporium in Bath welcomed Max Porter, editorial director of Granta, as well as writers Nikesh Shukla and Jessie Burton, and writer and illustrator Chris Riddell. Some of the visitors helped recreate iconic book jackets for the bookshop's Twitter feed, helping to massively boost the store’s Twitter impressions.

Mr B's bookshop co-owner Nic Bottomley, also president of the Booksellers Association, said: "It was incredible. I think it was a really strong year. Anecdotally I know that we sold loads of books though I haven’t had a chance to check the figures yet. In terms of Twitter impressions, we were up a colossal amount on an average day, they were up 20% on the year before. It was much busier than the year before."

Melanie Greenwood, co-owner of Drake – The Bookshop, in Stockton, said that the week’s sales were up 60% on the year before. She said: “It was brilliant, footfall was massively up. We had about 120 people in the store and then more for the events. We had a cream tea with author Alicia Drake and she talked about her life in Paris, and then we had Laura Barnett with musician Kathryn Williams.”

Wellcome Shop’s ‘Book Doctor’, who was running their book surgery for Bookshop Day

Tamara Macfarlane, owner of Tales on Moon Lane and Moon Lane Books, said footfall was up 25% in Moon Lane Books after the shop was featured in an article about Bookshop Day in the Independent.

“There was a significant increase thanks to the press coverage – people really wanted to come in and support their local bookshop,” she said.

Macfarlane gave away Bookshop Day bags and wooden bookmarks, and organised a ‘takeover’ by local teenagers, with three of them running Moon Lane Books on Bookshop Day itself. She also worked with local school children on the Friday before, creating displays about their favourite titles.

June Sarpong and Anton du Beke were also among a host of authors taking part in events on the day.

June Sarpong, Charly Cox, Emma Glass and Sian Cain discussed feminism and women’s writing at the Bookshop Day flagship event at Waterstones Gower Street