Philip Pullman, Children's Laureate Cressida Cowell and MP Jess Phillips are among the authors lined up to take part in this year's Bookshop Day with a bumper crop of events planned across the UK.
Taking place on the first Saturday after Super Thursday on 3rd October, the biggest single day of new book releases of the year, Bookshop Day on Saturday 5th October will see authors and bookshops across the country celebrate the vital role of high street bookshops.
In Oxford, Blackwell's will host an evening with Pullman at the Sheldonian Theatre to celebrate the launch of Pullman's The Secret Commonwealth: The Book of Dust Volume Two (David Fickling Books/PRH UK). The event will be recorded live for the Penguin Podcast on Sunday 6th October at 5.30pm.
Other highlights include Philip Pullman Weekend at Waterstones Newcastle with a host of activities celebrating the Book of Dust sequel. Waterstones Middlesbrough will mark the release with a 'clinic', recommending books that you may like if you love Pullman and need a new read to tide you over on Saturday 5th October at 2pm.
At W H Smith in Worcester, Cowell will sign copies of The Wizards of Once: Twice Magic (Hodder Children's) on Friday 4th October at 4pm.
Waterstones Bath will mark Bookshop Day and Bath Children’s Literature Festival, with a free event on Saturday 5th October where fans can come and meet local authors and illustrators. From 10am and throughout the day 14 writers and illustrators will be visiting the shop to sign copies of their books. Toppings, Bath will host MP Jess Phillips as she delivers a talk on her upcoming book Truth to Power (Monoray).
McFly's Dougie Poynter will hold a book signing at Blackwell's, Westgate in Oxford at 10am on Saturday 5th October while poet Charlie Cox will be at Waterstones Tottenham Court Road on Friday 4th October.
In Crouch End, London, Elmer the Elephant will make an appearance at Pickled Pepper Books on Saturday 5th October at 10am with a special event called Elmer's Walk. Based on the beloved book by David McKee, Elmer’s Walk is designed to provide an interactive and sensory storytelling experience for under-3s.
Maggie Mason will head to Waterstones Blackpool to sign copies of the latest paperback release in her Blackpool series, Blackpool's Angel (Sphere) on Saturday 5th October at 1pm while Blackwell's Oxford will see Nigel Warburton discuss Becoming Beauvoir (Bloomsbury Academic) with author Kate Kirkpatrick at 11am.
In Edinburgh, Scottish crime writer R J Mitchell will be signing copies of his latest book The Blood Acre (Matthew James Publishing) on Saturday 5th October from 11am and in Essex, A F Harrold will be signing Midnight Feasts (Bloomsbury Education) at Chicken and Frog Bookshop, Brentwood at 4pm.
Elsewhere bookshops will be taking part in literary festivals to mark the event with booksellers travelling to festivals in Henley, Ilkley, Bath, Cheltenham, Manchester and Birmingham.
BA head of campaigns Emma Bradshaw said: "Bookshop Day 2019 is gearing up to be our best yet, with more bookshops participating than ever before and loads of really exciting instore activity. We’re hugely grateful for the wonderful support we’ve received from publishers and wholesalers this year. There are so many great reasons to visit your local bookshop on Saturday 5th October."
On top of events, special Books Are My Bag tote bags will be on sale. Designer Yehrin Tong will create this year’s Books Are My Bag limited edition tote bag design which will be available exclusively in bookshops up and down the country from Bookshop Day. This year’s BAMB children’s bag is inspired by best-selling author and illustrator McKee’s Elmer the Patchwork Elephant and will also be available exclusively from bookshops. Hodder Faith is also getting in on the action with a Bibles Are My Bag tote bag featuring a design that ties in with their journaling bibles.
Bookshop Day and National Poetry Day will also join forces for the second year in a row in 2019, with poetry readings and workshops taking place in bookshops across the UK.
Bookshop Day is part of the year-round Books Are My Bag campaign, which also includes Independent Bookshop Week and the Independent Booksellers Children’s Book of the Month. Follow Bookshop Day online @BooksAreMyBag / #BookshopDay.