Celebrating the Bookshop…

I will be hosting an event this afternoon that is all about celebrating your bookshop. In gearing up for the event I was doing some research and I was shocked to discover that whilst we have a World Book Day, World Book Night, National Library Day (though my local library seemed to have no idea there was one) and the UK has Independent Booksellers Week. I am not dissing any of the other ventures, I love them all, but we don’t have a World Bookshop Day itself that everyone everywhere can join in with? Maybe that is a bit simple and simplistic minded of me? It just seems a little bit strange and I am left pondering why on earth not? Books and bookshops obviously need each other, only it always seems to be the book that gets the biggest support… what about the shop?


Now if anyone suddenly announces there is one worldwide I will hold my hands up and apologise, because I googled and googled and googled to try and find one. To be fair Australia, a country that I think is imminently sensible in so many ways (not forgetting that it brought Kylie, Kath & Kim and Marieke Hardy), did throw a National Bookshop Day in August 2013 yet, so far at least, there doesn’t seem to be anything happening this year. As I mentioned there is, lucky us, an Independent Booksellers Week in the UK yet not everywhere else and I think it would be nice to unite it worldwide too, rather than just our own turf, and not just the indies though I know they are bloody important… all bookshops are under threat though aren’t they?

I love a good bookshop – I think this is quite obvious – be they a lovely independent, a dusty/musty second hand shop or even a high street store (and I think some of these need to be celebrated and supported too, I am in constant fear that any moment Waterstones will suddenly announce its being bought by Amazon and then the world might end) I find it very hard not to fall into them. I don’t always purchase masses of books but I try and buy at least one new and a couple of second hand books from bookshops every month. I love the atmosphere, which is always relaxed (though I heard that story about the madwoman who wanted people to pay to peruse in her bookshop) and you can wander and browse and just get lost in a world of book… just down your very road, well, almost if you are lucky.

You can guess what is coming can’t you? Yes, I think that we should start our own World Book Day and currently I have given it the oh-so original title ‘Celebrate The Bookshop’…


I mean what will it cost (the constant fear of anything that sounds like an initiative or cause) really? One of the things that is so fantastic about book lovers is that they can’t shut up about books, hence the wonder of books successes just based on the word of mouth phenomena. All we need to do really is pick a day, later in the year (and I am wondering if I should get in touch with the team behind Australia’s National Bookshop Day last year and Independent Booksellers Week and see if we could all do it on the same day, this could be delusions of grandeur), and mention it to all our friends, print off posters and the like, I wish you could print off book marks, blog about it here there and everywhere and then on the day go to out to our local bookshop/s and buy a few books. Simple as that surely? It will be like a bookish revolution all through the simple magic of sharing the love and, as I said, spreading the word and supporting local bookshops everywhere.


I have even been pondering a blog where people, everywhere, can write about their favourite local bookshops and make some sort of world wide book shop guide. You’d think I hadn’t just got a new job and had lots of other projects on the go would you. But hey I love books and they make me think and want to see about doing things like this.

So what do you think? Do you think it is sad that we don’t have a day that officially spreads the love of the physical bookshop (any variety) worldwide? Do you think we should have one? Who is in with me to try and make one happen and if so what could we do next? I think we need some patrons and I can think of three who I might ask, any you would suggest though?  I am off to do more brainstorming, emailing, and hosting the event on it… I wonder what the audience there will make of the idea? If you have any additional thoughts or ideas you can email savidgereads@gmail.com too. I will report back with everyone’s thoughts and updates very soon.


Filed under Celebrate The Bookshop, Random Savidgeness

15 responses to “Celebrating the Bookshop…

  1. Count me in Simon I said on record shop day a book shop celebration or day needs starting to get people in shops and also celebrate the great shops out there all the best stu

  2. Please make it on a Saturday. I know not everyone works standard hours but I think you are more likely to have a success if it’s on a day when people can easily get to the bookshops in question. I think it’s a great idea though, I would definitely poke my book group into action to do something for it.

  3. Saturday does sound a great idea. Maybe make it the day the Gutenberg Press was first released as one of the top inventions of the last millennium. Without the press we wouldn’t have printed matter. Will have to google when that day was, may have already passed. Great idea. I’d be happy to flog it down under here in Oz.

  4. lizzysiddal

    Simon, there is something in the offing. Search for Books are My Bag.

  5. Hi Simon – we’re in. On behalf of Blackwell’s in Oxford I’d be very happy to offer more than just moral support. Drop an email to euan.hirst@blackwell.co.uk if you want to discuss further
    Courage mon brave!

  6. Delicious.

    Count us in.


  7. I think Celebrate the Bookshop is a fantastic idea. I wish I had a nice independent bookshop in my area to celebrate. :/

  8. OK I’ll be the damp squib here. I hope it all goes well for you and your supporters and I do support my local bookshops (though that hasn’t stopped them closing down) but quite frankly I do not want yet another Celebrate “XXX” day! I do not need a special day to celbrate anything that isn’t connected with a particular date. Happy to help a local enterprise celebrate its first, 10th, 100th birthday but having a special common day for things is just so much nonsense in my opinion. Lizzysidal is certainly correct in their comment. Saatchi are fronting this autumn a PR exercise along the lines you suggest (featuring,*groan* “A celebrity-led photo campaign” amonsgt other things)

    Honesty from me as always, even if my view is likely to be unpopular, but you did ask for our thoughts! I am however happy to contribute to your “favourite local bookshop” weblog.

  9. I do my best to support my local bookshop, as a matter of principle I do all my special orders through them, and they are wonderful people, however I’d scratch my head to think of a way to make this a wider “celebration”. Perhaps it needs to be part of a “support all your specialist local shops” thing?

  10. It feels so fitting that you’ve posted this today, as today I volunteered for an event celebrating one of Brighton’s most famous bookshops. Richard Cupidi used to own the Public House Bookshop, an amazing left-wing public house of individualism and creativity – it sounded amazing, but they closed in 1999 due to the change in the way people began buying books.

    I feel something like World Bookshop Day would have been perfect to go alongside the Brighton Festival (which the event above was for) – especially being able to promote all Brighton’s indie bookstores.

    Book stores need our help/patronage, I’m all for a bookshop day.

  11. Ann Fuller

    Yes I think it is sad that we do not have a world wide bookshop day! I love the musty smell of 2nd hand bargain bookstores and in my part of the world there is one that I feel very at home in — the name is Maxey’s.

  12. Love to celebrate bookshops. I’ve had a page on my blog since starting it that has my favourite bookshops from places I’ve visited as well as local ones. Great to spread the word.

  13. Sounds like a grand idea – Peak Volumes, one of Derbyshire’s newest second-hand bookshops would be up for this!

  14. Fantastic idea. I’d be happy to reach out to Bristol and Bath bookshops about getting involved.

  15. Pingback: Books Are My Bag | Savidge Reads

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