The Books Are My Bag Campaign launches for 2015

The Books Are My Bag Campaign launches for 2015

Books are my bag

Books are my bag – London Book Fair 2015 – ActuaLitté via Flickr

Website Culture Editor Julia Mitchell reports on the upcoming Books Are My Bag Campaign, letting us know how we can all get involved with our local bookshops in Canterbury.

When it comes to book buying there’s simply no way that you can beat shopping in a good old fashioned bookshop. You know, one of those dreamy buildings that are stacked from floor to ceiling with books, and are usually stocked with enough reading material to last you for years without ever leaving the building. Yeah okay, so I know that maybe you might be able to find that book that you’re after cheaper online, and yes perhaps it is simply more convenient for your new purchase to be delivered straight to your door, but you have to admit one thing. It doesn’t feel quite the same as shopping in your favourite bookshop now, does it? I didn’t think so.

The sad thing is that although we all love our local bookshops, many of them will soon find themselves under threat if we don’t continue to use them to make our book-related purchases. Obviously there’s no denying that book buying online has its perks, but actual real-life bookshops offer something so much more. They are spaces that celebrate books much more physically, where you can browse through the spines that line their shelves, admire their lovingly designed jackets, and inhale the uniquely fragrant smell of turning book pages. Bookshops genuinely provide an experience that cannot be replaced or replicated by the internet.

This idea is being championed by the wonderful folks at Books Are My Bag (BAMB), a campaign which is now entering its third year, with the aim to rekindle the love between readers and their local bookshops. The campaign sees a combination of booksellers, publishers and authors work together to spread the message, with notable figures this year including British authors Matt Haig, Jen Campbell and Lauren Child. The Books Are My Bag 2015 campaign will launch on 8 October, with nationwide bookshop parties taking place on 10 October, and then continuing through until Christmas.

The best thing about this campaign is that it’s so easy for book lovers to get involved. All you have to do is head on over to your local bookshop and support them by treating yourself (or a loved one) to a new book. Plus, all of the participating Books Are My Bag Bookshops will also be handing out free BAMB branded tote bags while stocks last, so make sure that you ask the bookseller for one when you make your purchase. They’re really handy to carry your library books/food shopping around in, while also helping to spread the campaign every time you use it. Here’s the crucial bit – in Canterbury, our local participating bookshops include both the St Margarets Street Waterstones and the Rose Lane Waterstones, WHSmith, Blackwell’s (situated on campus next to Jobshop and Essentials), CLC Bookshop and the University Bookshop (located at Canterbury Christ Church University).

So if you love our local bookshops, make sure that you head into town this autumn to buy a book (or two, or three!) and bag yourself a BAMB tote while you’re at it.

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