Books Are My Bag 2017: #BookshopDay

Yesterday, Saturday the 7th of October, was the legendary Books Are My Bag's national holiday, Bookshop Day!

Book currently in your #BAMB bag?

Up until yesterday, it was 'It Only Happens in the Movies' by Holly Bourne. I finished it last night before bed! And now I'm dipping back into my Adrian Mole double feature, just for some light retro humour before I return to Hogwarts.

Favourite bookshop?

I will always love Waterstones in Brighton, and Tottenham Court Road. And of course there's no denying that Piccadilly is an institution – no, a city! 

My local indie shop is Hare & Hawthorn Bindery & Bookshop, in Hastings old town. I've only been in there a couple of times, but would definitely recommend it to any book-loving visitors to the Sussex seaside. 
Same with The Rye Bookshop; I bloody loved covering in there (and meeting the mad mix of customers) on a quiet Sunday morning when I was a bookseller. 

Favourite book about bookshops?

I don't know if I've ever read one...? I immediately thought of Jen Campbell's 'The Bookshop Book', which has been on my TBR list forever. If anyone wants to suggest any others, please comment! 

Describe your dream bookshop.

Books separated by genres and then plot styles, with recommendations from booksellers on cards under face-outs. Old, obscure music. A snug cafe upstairs, serving Italian sourced and locally roasted coffee, plus vegan treats. With limited edition mugs you can purchase, all of which are emblazoned with the bookshop's super cool logo...or bookish quotes.
I'd need to be able to go there for evening events, like open mic nights (music/comedy/poetry/plays, anything!) and author panels, book signings...god, I love events.
Oh, and I'd want all the booksellers to be genuine, hardcore book lovers. You'd be surprised how rare that is in some bookshops, these days...

Favourite bookseller recommendation?

As an ex-bookseller, I cannot tell you enough just how wonderfully flattering it is when you recommend a book to a customer and they then buy it.
When I was in store serving, if they asked, I'd always be honest. A woman once asked for my thoughts on 'Me Before You'. I was honest (“go see the film if you fancy Finnick – but put the book down. Now.”) and she thanked me, sincerely (“all my friends keep telling me it's their favourite book...but then I don't usually trust their opinions, tbh”), then took me up on my recs ('Viral' by Helen Fitzgerald for the delicious silliness, and some Ali Smith for the sophistication).

The best read a bookseller ever sold to me was 'Ghosts', the graphic novel by Raina Telgemeier, in Daves Comics, Brighton.

Bought on #BookshopDay!?

I sadly didn't get out to the shops yesterday, as I was meeting up with friends and pub lunching then Scrabble-playing...but I am thrilled with my National Book Tokens gift card (BAMB, you rock my bookish world and are always the most terrible influences when I'm on a strict book-buying ban) and plan on spending it on Rupi Kaur's second collection, 'The Sun and Her Flowers' (half price on A Great Read, just FYI).

Best bookshop memory...?

The panel I chaired in the basement cafe of Waterstones, Tottenham Court Road. I honestly never wanted that evening to end. Lisa Heathfield, Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock and Tanya Landman were unbelievably inspiring and so gentle, they put me at ease and the chairing actually felt like having a lovely laid-back chat with friends. I hope the audience felt as happy there as I did. 

I hope all you readers had a fabulous Bookshop Day this year. I loved seeing all the Instagram posts and happy tweets from my lovely friends going book shopping and celebrating their local shops. 

Special shout-out to the marvellous Stevie Finegan, who managed to grab a copy of 'Turtles All the Way Down' (only £9.70 on A Great Read!), the supposedly embargoed new John Green novel. I am amazed. Nobody deserves that preview more than her.
Ooh wait, I may spend my book token on a copy of that, actually...

Anyway. Happy reading, friends! 

P.S. x 2: after the amazing first ever Books Are My Bag Awards last year (which I wrote a post for and was then lucky enough to attend the actual ceremony!), they're back! VOTE HERE, NOW. 

And I'll always mention it in my BAMB posts, but y'all need to subscribe to the Bound newsletter. It's always a treat in my inbox. 


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