Independent Bookshop Week (19th – 26th June) is part of the Books Are My Bag campaign, run by the Booksellers Association, and seeks to celebrate independent bookshops in the UK and Ireland.
Have a read of our piece celebrating the resilience and creativity of our independent booksellers here, and then take a look at these five ways you can support your local bookshop this week:
Pop in. The simplest way to show your support is by nipping in and browsing the shelves of your local store. Soak up the atmosphere, chat to the booksellers, and there’s sure to be a book or two that catches your eye…
Buy a gift subscription. There are surely few better presents than spoiling that special reader in your life (or indeed yourself…) with a regular subscription of books. Mostly Books in Abingdon can set your friend up with a Blind Date with a Book (complete with chocolate and fine teas), Warwick Books offer seasonal gift boxes containing up to three tailored reads, while Sevenoaks Bookshop sell A Year in Books packages – handpicked, hand-wrapped, and sent out monthly based on the recipient’s interests.
Pick up some merchandise or a special reading experience. Treat yourself to a new tote, a notebook from Golden Hare Books in Edinburgh, or a badge from The Bookish Type in Leeds. Bookshops have become increasingly imaginative about their offerings: given that they have a bathtub filled with books on the shop floor, it’s perhaps no surprise that Mr. B’s Emporium have pushed the boat out with a Reading Spa too. Surprise a loved one with a cosy chat with the Mr. B’s team over a few slices of cake, before they’re handed a teetering stack of hand-picked books and invited to take home their favourites. Heaven.
Tune into a live event. A number of bookshops will be hosting livestreamed author events via Zoom or over YouTube over the course of the week. The likes of Stockton’s Drake The Bookshop and Edinburgh’s Lighthouse Bookshop have something special up their sleeves. Check out your local store’s website, and see if they’re in conversation with your favourite author.
Follow your local bookshop on social media. You’ll get instant recommendations right from the bookseller’s mouth (or keyboard), the chance to connect and chat with local book lovers, and plenty of irresistible images of those beautiful bookshelves.