The Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland Limited

Bookshop Day 2020 events line-up revealed

Bookshops across the country are preparing for Bookshop Day (Saturday 3 October) with author signings by bestselling and debut writers; exciting bookshop exclusives; stunning shop windows created by world-renowned illustrators; four new bookshops launching; and virtual events to bring book lovers together.

 From author events with Claudia Winkleman, Stuart Turton and Cressida Cowell, to bookshop exclusives from Charlie Mackesy, Katherine Rundell, and much more, Bookshop Day is packed with reasons to visit a local bookshop.
Bookshops have been working hard to adapt for the annual event, with activity now spread out across the week to allow for as many book lovers as possible to enjoy visiting their local bookshop in line with current safety guidelines.
With Christmas fast approaching, the Booksellers Association is also encouraging customers to start their Christmas shopping from Bookshop Day to spread out demand to ensure that social-distancing can be maintained and queuing avoided. Booksellers will be on hand to help customers choose the perfect gifts for their loved ones, both instore and via their websites, phone or email.
Bookshop Day highlights this year include:
- Internationally best-selling author, artist and illustrator Charlie Mackesy is this year’s collaborator on the Books Are My Bag Limited-Edition Bag, which will be available exclusively in bookshops across the UK and Ireland from Bookshop Day
- Acclaimed children’s author, Waterstones Children’s Book Prize, and Blue Peter Book Award winner, Katherine Rundell will be signing copies of The Book of Hopes, an extraordinary collection of stories, poems, essays and pictures for children from over 100 children’s writers and illustrators, edited by Rundell, and published by Bloomsbury. Contributors include Lauren Child, Michael Morpurgo, Jacqueline Wilson, and Axel Scheffler, and the collection is dedicated to the doctors, nurses, carers, porters and everyone working in hospitals. The signed copies will be available exclusively in bookshops, with a donation from each sale going to the NHS Charities Together in gratitude for the incredible efforts of all those who have worked in hospitals during the pandemic (Saturday 3 October, Foyles Charing Cross Road, The Children’s Bookshop, Muswell Hill, London Review Bookshop, Stoke Newington Bookshop, Ink @ 84, Waterstones Islington, Daunts Marylebone, Queen’s Park Books)
Claudia Winkleman will be in conversation with Emma Freud in a special live online event with Waterstones, discussing Winkleman’s hotly anticipated, warm, wry and heartfelt debut, Quite (Tuesday 29th September, 19:30, Waterstones online)
- Waterstones Children’s Laureate, and celebrated author of How To Train Your Dragon, Cressida Cowell, will be taking part in a magical family online event with Blackwell’s Heffers Bookshop (Sunday 4 October, 16:00-17:00, Heffers online)
- Books Are my Bag Readers Awards winner and Sunday Times bestseller, Stuart Turton, will be in conversation with bestselling crime writer, Will Dean, discussing Turton’s addictive new murder-mystery, The Devil and the Dark Water (Wednesday 30th September, 19:30, Waterstones online)
- Beloved children’s author, star of Horrible Histories, and Paddington 2 writer, Simon Farnaby, will be signing copies of his new book The Wizard in My Shed at Pickled Pepper Books and The Children’s Bookshop, Muswell Hill (Saturday 3rd October, 14:00, The Children’s Bookshop, Muswell Hill; and 15:00, Pickled Pepper Books, Crouch End)
- Inspired by the stunning new book Julian at the Wedding by Jessica Love, Hazel Gardiner Design will be creating a floral art installation in Sevenoaks Bookshop on publication day, Thursday 1 October (Thursday 1 October onwards, Sevenoaks Bookshop, Kent)
- Gay’s the Word bookshop will also feature a floral window display inspired by Julian at the Wedding by Jessica Love, created by Floral Evolution, and on display from Monday 5 October (Monday 5 October onwards, Gay’s The Word, London)
- A new collection of Virginia Woolf’s essays, How Should One Read a Book, with a new introduction and afterward by Sheila Heti (Motherhood), will be available exclusively in bookshops from Bookshop Day, published by Laurence King, ahead of its general release later in October. A percentage of sales made during the bookshop exclusive period will be donated to the Book Trade Charity (various bookshops)
- Booker shortlisted author, Graeme Macrae Burnet, will be visiting various bookshops on Bookshop Day and signing custom book plates, as he celebrates the publication of his new novel, Case Studies
- Wendy Holden (The Governess) will be taking part in the hugely popular online event series, At Home with 4 Indies, hosted by four independent bookshops who came together to create a new event offering in light of Covid-19 (Monday 28 September, 19:30-20:30, online)
- Waterstones Guildford will host its LGBTQI+ Book Club on Zoom, discussing Queer Intentions by Amelia Abraham (Tuesday 28 September, 18:30-19:30, Waterstones Guildford)
- Legendary artists, Alan Lee, John Howe and Ted Nasmith will be in conversation to mark the 40th anniversary edition of Unfinished Tales by J.R.R. Tolkein (Thursday 1 October, 19:30, Waterstones online)
- Dr Peter Lovatt, author of The Dance Cure, has choreographed 20 micro dances each based on his book and a Book club Boogie, with a special ‘Bookshop Boogie’ that can be used in book clubs. Lovatt has also created a video called ‘Boogie on down to the Bookshop’ featuring The Book Hive, Jarrolds Book Store and Waterstones Norwich, released to mark Bookshop Day
- The Secret Bookshelf is hosting an online quiz, and a chat event around books to recommend to friends, as well as various special offers including a free Hedgehog Press Stickleback micro-poetry collection with any poetry purchase to celebrate National Poetry Day on 1 October (Thursday 1 October onwards, The Secret Bookshelf, Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland)
- Chicken and Frog Bookshop is working with The School of Life Press to launch a poetry competition, with two winners receiving a copy of An Emotional Menagerie. (Chicken and Frog Bookshop, Brentwood)
- October Books is giving away a free blind date with a book to every customer; every customer who buys a book will receive a bonus mystery book (Saturday 3 October, October Books, Southampton)
- Booka Bookshop and Scholasitc are hosting a virtual event with Laura Wood to mark the publication of A Snowfall of Silver (Saturday 3 October, 18:00, online)
- Drake the Bookshop and Tiny Tree Books publishers will be sharing readings with authors and giveaways online
- Welsh former international footballer, Neville Southall MBE (Mind Games) will be doing an At Home with 4 Indies event, with the first 100 registrants receiving a signed bookplated copy of his new book (Tuesday 29 September, 19:30-20:30, online)
- Children’s Bookshop, Huddersfield, is planning a bear hunt, a competition to guess the number of books in a bag, and a “booky dip” (Saturday 3 October, Children’s Bookshop, Huddersfield)
- Natasha Farrant will be doing a live event at The Book Nook, answering questions and talking about her new book, Voyage of the Sparrowhawk (Saturday 3 October, 11:00, The Book Nook, Hove)
- Lost in Books is hosting an author signing event with local author Anna Chorlton to mark Bookshop Day. Chorlton will be signing copies of Cornish Folk Tales of Place and visiting the shop to talk about her writing process (Monday 5 October, Lost in Books, Lostwithiel, Cornwall)
- Picture book author-illustrator, Emma Lazell (Big Cat) will be taking part in two events with Chiltern Bookshops, including storytelling and tiger crafts (Saturday 3 October, Chorleywood and Gerrards Cross stores)
- Niche Comics & Bookshop is celebrating its ninth birthday on the high street, and will be marking the occasion on Bookshop Day with cake, drinks, and special offers (Niche Comics & Bookshop, Huntingdon)
- Bridge Bookshop will be offering goodie bags and special offers on Bookshop Day (Bridge Bookshop, Dromore)
- The Book Shop will be offering activities, discounts, special offers, freebies and more (The Book Shop, Lee-On-The-Solent)
- The Rabbit Hole will be laying on offers and treats (The Rabbit Hole, Brigg)
- Charlotte Nichols MP will be visiting Forget Me Not Bookshop on Bookshop Day (Forget Me Not, Culcheth) and Sarah Jones MP will be visiting Waterstones in Croydon on Bookshop Day (Waterstones Croydon)  
Four new bookshops are opening in time for Bookshop Day: a new bookshop from Little Toller Books will be opening its doors in Beaminster, Dorset, and welcoming new customers on Bookshop Day. Specialising in natural history, the store will also stock books for children, and will be partly curated by writers, booksellers, musicians and poets; Moonraker Books, Chapter 2, will open its doors in Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire; Not Just Books is due to welcome book lovers in Thetford, Norfolk; and Kemp’s General Store and Kemp’s Books will be launching in Malton, North Yorkshire.

Emma Bradshaw, Head of Campaigns at the Booksellers Association, said: “There are countless reasons to visit your local bookshops this Bookshop Day, or join in the fun online. We’ve spoken to hundreds of bookshops over the past six months who’ve been blown away by the support from their customers, and we know they’ll need that support now more than ever, as bookshops continue to face the full force of the immense challenges to the high street. With Christmas fast approaching, we encourage bookshop customers to start their shopping from Bookshop Day, whether in their local bookshop, or online. With more bookshops than ever before now offering orders via websites, over the phone, and email, it couldn’t be easier to shop with your local bookshop.”
Details of Bookshop Day events taking place across the country can be found on the Books are My Bag Facebook events page.