Saturday 6th October is Bookshop Day, and (as books are clearly our bag), we're celebrating by giving a shout-out to some of our must-visit bookselling haunts from around the UK…
Publishers, bookshops and authors have come together for the annual Books are My Bag campaign – a nationwide collaboration which celebrates hundreds of booksellers up and down the country.
Why is your local bookshop so important when it's so easy to buy books online? For a start, it's a great place to hang out and browse – you never know what you might find, and you'll be supporting your local high street too.
And we can definitely vouch for the fact that bookshops are full of lovely people who can't wait to help you find the perfect book, and who love books just as much as you (and we) do!
“I hugely value the role that bookshops play in our industry, and so am very pleased at the opportunity that Bookshop Day gives us to thank them for this. It also enables us to show our appreciation for what they do in engaging new audiences and building local communities. It’s thoroughly inspiring to see all of the publishing industry coming together to celebrate this important cause.” Laurence King
Every year the ace Books are my Bag commissions two limited edition tote bags – this year artist Peter Blake has created a colourful pop art bag for adults, and the children's tote is a design based on Philip Pullman's La Belle Sauvage.
Both will be available from your local bookshop from Saturday and are sure to be instant collector's items.
Search for your local bookshop here and read on to find out about some of our local booksellers…
Chelsea Edwards, Senior Editor
Bookshop: Housmans, Kings Cross, London
“Housmans is full of gnarly, politically radical titles that get you fired up about pressing issues and challenging ideas.”
Eleanor Blatherwick, Head of Marketing
Bookshop: Ottie and the Bea, Blackheath, London
“You can’t fail but leave Ottie and the Bea having drastically overspent on a beautiful selection of the best children’s books around (as well as too many toys and gifts!). It’s such a creative and inviting space – with brilliant events for children of all ages.”
Jantien Abma, Senior Marketing Executive
“I like The London Review Bookshop because they put on lots of good author events and they have really good staff suggestions. Plus it’s near some good Korean food!”
Kathryn Colwell, Senior Publicist
Bookshop: P&G Wells, Winchester
“I remember crawling around the bookshelves of the magical shop P&G Wells when I was very small. It’s a beautiful building, right next door to a house Jane Austin lived in for some time. Their children’s section is a treasure trove.”
Kate Lakie, Editorial Assistant
Bookshop: Word on the Water (The London Book Barge), Floating on Regents Canal
“I love what an innovative idea The London Book Barge is for a bookshop – it’s so quirky and the owners had to work hard to gain a permanent mooring (when I first moved to London it just used to float up and down the canal). I love the aesthetic: it’s shabby and messy with books spilling out from every direction – there’s often someone playing jazz from the roof. The whole thing has a really magical feeling to it.”
Katie de Clercq, International Sales
Bookshop: Topping & Co, Bath
“You can completely lose track of time in Topping & Co. They have a vast array of books, and I love the wooden décor throughout the store. Whenever I’m in Bath I make sure to visit.”
Milène Josse, Rights Assistant
Bookshop: Koenig Books, Serpentine Galleries, Hyde Park, London
“I love Koenig’s selection of art books, magazines and stationery/gifts. The small space makes it feel more intimate and I always find many titles to add to my reading list.”
Myrsini Psalidaki, Senior Marketing Executive
Bookshop: Tales on Moon Lane, Herne Hill, London
“Tales is my local children’s bookshop and it’s got a great vibe and selection of titles to suit all ages.There’s a small room at the back where you can get lost amongst the books and get that childlike feeling again.”
Philip Contos, Senior Editor
Bookshop: Stoke Newington Bookshop, London
“Stoke Newington Bookshop is an oasis of calm on the high street, full of hidden gems and staff ready to help you find what you’re looking for.”
Sara Goldsmith, Commissioning Editor
Bookshop: Artwords, Broadway Market, London
“Artwords is a great shop to browse in. It’s not that big, but every surface seems to be covered with books. It feels like being inside of a Rubik’s cube made of colourful, intriguing books. And it’s open until 8 pm.”