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Photo of people in a bookshop.

National Bookshop Day 2017

Publishers, booksellers and authors today celebrate the UK and Ireland’s second national Bookshop Day. To mark the occasion, we announce a series of bookshop interviews that we will publish over the next three months as the days draw in and you long for a good book to read by the fire.

If you know what you’re looking for, searching online is perhaps the quickest way to obtain a book. But if you go into a bookshop you might ‘make a purchase you’ll value for the rest of your life’, say the organizers of Bookshop Day.

More than half of all book buying decisions are made in a bookshop, which is surely the best place to browse for books since you can pick them up and look inside far more quickly than you ever could on a screen. You also have that tactile experience which so many people say is what they adore about a good book.

Bookshop Day is being organized by Books Are My Bag, a campaign to reignite the nation’s love of the local bookshop by handing out designer tote bags and asking celebrities to carry them. With their encouragement, 2,000 bookshops around the country are holding special events today. The Chorleywood Bookshop has author talks by Maylis de Kerangal (Mend the Living) and Matthew Kneale (An Atheist’s History of Belief). Southwold Books has arranged an arts and crafts corner where children can design their own book bag. And Far From The Madding Crowd Bookshop in Linlithgow is hosting an all-day party with face paint, home-made cakes and story-telling.

The number of independent bookshops has fallen for the 11th year in a row, according to the Booksellers’ Association membership figures, and we feel this is a case of love it or lose it, like the village shop and the village pub. By interviewing the resourceful survivors, we hope to uncover the secret methods they use to get readers through the door, how they’ve beaten off the online competition and avoided going the way of Meg Ryan’s Shop Around the Corner in You’ve Got Mail.

Book lovers are encouraged to use two handy hashtags to share details of their favourite shops, #BookshopDay and #OnlyOnTheHighStreet.

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