When the world feels senseless, idiotic and unreasonable... the only answer is to go to a bookshop. --Lauren Laverne
Although they may be nursing a Brexit Vote hangover today, along with some uncertainty regarding how the referendum vote to leave the E.U. will affect business, nearly 400 booksellers in the U.K. and Ireland have been celebrating the 10th annual Independent Bookshop Week (June 18-25). The Booksellers Association noted that IBW2016 is being held at a time of "increased optimism and a more buoyant market for independent bookshops.... [Bookshops] are creating incredible social and cultural spaces on their high streets--offering events, literary lunches, children's storytelling, schools outreach, reading groups, festivals and meeting spaces." Here are a few highlights from #IBW2016:
Inevitable Brexit vote reference: "Take a break from #EUref and join @TwoRoadsBooks on our #IBW2016 tour." Hodder & Stoughton imprint Two Roads Books is chronicling its Indie Bookshop Tour, "celebrating independent bookshops and their booksellers."
Mr. B's Emporium of Reading Delights, Bath: "It's indie bookshop week #IBW2016. Us bookshops have huge independent spirit, but we love being members of the same wider tribe. Just saying."
The Bookshop Kibworth: "Here's one of our @BookshopWindows combining @UEFAEURO, @KibBookFest AND #IBW2016! @booksaremybag @BAbooksellers."
The Gifts of Reading: Robert Macfarlane's specially commissioned essay is being sold by indies, with proceeds going to his nominated charity. He told the Bookseller: "Our bookshops--like our libraries--are simply vital to the reading life of this country. I know from my own meetings up and down the country, and over the years, what passion, knowledge and expertise gets shown and shared in independent bookshops. To write an essay in praise of the book-as-gift, to have the essay published by Penguin and sold in all indie bookshops, and to have all profits going to the Migrant Offshore Aid Station is just a huge privilege and pleasure."
Making #IBW2016 lists:
10 independent bookshops share their favorite window displays
10 weird things to happen in independent bookshops
10 author quotes about the joy of bookshops
8 independent bookshops you need to visit during #IBW2016
6 of Scotland's best independent bookshops
50 brilliant independent bookshops in the U.K.
Anne Enright: Ireland's fiction laureate and Independent Bookshop Week Award winner for The Green Road said, "It was such an honor to be selected for this award by my favorite people--booksellers. Long may they remain. Four or five years ago, we were all in a panic that the internet would eat booksellers and paper. But they've battled on and they're starting to flourish."
Booksellers as movie action heroes: London Review Bookshop tweeted: "To celebrate #IndependentBookshopWeek, here's our bookselling team matched against Independence Day characters."
Emily MacKenzie: winner of the IBW Award for children's picture book: "I love visiting independents because each shopping experience feels unique. Cozy and welcoming, I love that independent bookshops give you a glimpse into the personality and passions of the booksellers behind them. I always leave an independent bookshop with an unexpected find, feeling recharged and inspired, which is a wonderful thing."
Chicken & Frog Bookshop, Brentwood, Essex: "Rocking our #IBW2016 t-shirts today! @BAbooksellers."
Shore to Shore Poetry Tour Diary: "Embarking on a nationwide poetry tour, Carol Ann Duffy and her fellow poets Gillian Clarke, Imtiaz Dharker, Jackie Kay and John Sampson document what they see as they travel and share poetry around the U.K."
Finding the perfect book: Canongate: "Looking for your next reading material? Let us find your perfect book, using this simple matchmaking tool. #IBW2016"
A Love Letter to Bookshops: in an IBW essay, Veronica Henry wrote that the title of her latest novel, How to Find Love in a Bookshop, "is not just about finding romantic love. It's about the love of books: something that can sustain you throughout your life, and provide escape, entertainment, education, comfort, wonder. And it's a love you can share. There is nothing more satisfying than recommending something you have read to someone else, knowing they will love it as much as you do.... But if we are to keep bookshops alive, we need to use them, and to encourage the next generation to make them part of their life and view bookshops as a treat, a pleasure, an adventure, a gateway. So they become a necessity. Something we can't live without."
And... words to live by for readers worldwide.
--Published by Shelf Awareness, issue #2782