Cameron supports Books Are My Bag

Cameron supports Books Are My Bag

Prime Minister David Cameron stepped out to support the industry-wide Books Are My Bag campaign on its launch day, Saturday 14th September.

Cameron visited his local bookseller, Jaffe and Neale Bookshop in Chipping Norton, announced and accompanied by his wife Samantha and their children. During his visit he bought two books, and sported the M&C Saatchi-designed orange Books Are My Bag bag.

Patrick Neale, co-owner of the shop and president of the Booksellers Association, said: "David and Sam are regular customers, Sam comes in all the time and we try to treat them like any other customers. I had told Sam about it when we were chatting a few weeks ago and I reminded his office beforehand, but I didn¹t know whether they were going to pop in or not.But they did, and I asked David if he would support the campaign and he said 'yes'.

"He was very enthusiastic about support for high street bookshops. It was good timing because I was talking to [Penguin Random House Group chair] Gail Rebuck when they walked in, so Gail had a chat to Sam and I had a chat to David about the campaign."

Neale said he would not divulge what the PM bought, as it was not a bookshop 'policy' to do that with any of his customers.

However, he did reveal that Sam Cameron wrote on a Books Are My Bag poster on Jaffe & Neale's wall that "we have spent many happy and fabulous morning here reading and having coffee and hot chocolates".

Neale added: "It has been a great start to the campaign, I believe we were trending on Twitter for a couple of hours on Saturday. But the important thing to remember is this is just the start, it is not one day, it has got to carry on for the rest of our lives."

On Saturday high street booksellers across the UK supported the Books Are My Bag campaign by holding events and handing out bags. W H Smith stocked bookmarks and bags for customers who bought books on the launch weekend,and handed out 400 bags at The Cake and Bake Show at Earls Court.

Waterstones also handed out bags and supported the launch through its social media channels and online blog.

Jane Streeter, owner of the Bookcase in Lowdham, Nottinghamshire, added: "{Books Are My Bag launch day] went fantastically . . . We had such as good response locally and took four times more than we normally take on a Saturday, so that goes to show it is working. There is a really lovely feel about the campaign, we didn’t know if customers would engage with it until the day, but then they all came in to the shop.”
 
Streeter said: “It is up to booksellers to have that conversation, about why coming into a bookshop is important, but once you do then people get it and agree.”