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Books Are My Bag

Booklovers across the UK & Ireland are being encouraged to join an unprecedented nationwide campaign – BOOKS ARE MY BAG – that celebrates high street & campus bookshops. BOOKS ARE MY BAG is a collaboration between publishers, bookshops, authors and agents, devised by advertising agency, M&C Saatchi, to champion the passion for books and bookshops and celebrate their cultural importance on the high street.

For many people bookshops conjure fond images of book readings, in-store cafes and delight at the discovery of a new author. In fact, 56% of all book buying decisions are made by consumers in a bookshop and high street bookshops (both chains and independents) still account for almost 40% of books bought by consumers (by value) (Bowker Research 2013). Yet, many high street bookshops are under threat from punitive rates and rents, as well as pressure from the internet book retailers.

Books Are My Bag

BOOKS ARE MY BAG aims to reverse this process by reigniting the nation’s love of bookshops, calling on book lovers to show their support by visiting and purchasing a book from their favourite bookshop on Saturday 14th September. A full list of the events can be found at the BOOKS ARE MY BAG website (www.booksaremybag.com).

BOOKS ARE MY BAG was launched to the bookselling industry in April at The London Book Fair and has since recruited around 100 high profile UK and international authors, broadcasters, models, sports stars, actors, politicians, chefs, journalists and comedians willing to lend their image to the campaign, to be photographed with the iconic canvas bag which has been designed as the centrepiece for the movement.

The BOOKS ARE MY BAG bag carries a simple and powerful message allowing readers to display their love and support for local bookshops while encouraging others to do so. Over a quarter of a million bags will be distributed from 14th September to Christmas at over 1,800 chain and independent bookshops from across the UK & Ireland.

Children’s author and journalist Francesca Simon (creator of Horrid Henry) commented: “Bookshops, like libraries, are the closest we get to a magic kingdom on earth. They’re a world of treats waiting to be devoured. There’s nothing like browsing in a welcoming shop and discovering a writer or a book you’ve never heard of. And it’s such an event for children to be taken to a bookshop knowing they can choose a book for keeps.”

Patrick Neale (Jaffe & Neale Bookshop & Cafe and President of The Booksellers Association) said: “Booklovers need to part of this renewed zeal to keep books on the high street. We urge you to go into your local bookshop on Saturday 14 September and buy a book in recognition of the many wonderful hours you have spent perusing bookshop shelves. Just get involved and vote with your feet for the high street you want to see in the future.”

Gail Rebuck (Chair and CEO of Random House) said: “Bookshops are of great cultural importance to the country at large and the communities they serve. In these challenging times for the UK High Street, it is terrific that a world renowned advertising company – M&C Saatchi – has devised such a positive campaign for all booksellers. This initiative focuses on the art of the possible and will celebrate the simple joy of browsing – and, of course, buying and reading books.”

BAMB Bag

The BOOKS ARE MY BAG mission statement concludes: “When you buy a book from a bookshop, you get a possession that you may well value for the rest of your life. You’ll have enjoyed the pleasure of browsing other books before making your choice. You may well have got advice about it from someone who loves books even more than you do, the bookseller on the other side of the counter. And you will have partaken in a process that is a vital part of our culture, our community and our High Street. This bag is designed to encourage the most important people, the book reading public, to assert their love and support for bookshops and encourage others to do so. It says “I use bookshops because I value them. And I want it to stay that way”.

For more information on local events for Saturday 14th September visit: www.booksaremybag.com

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