Books Are My Bag @ Foyles

Books Are My Bag
You may have seen a lot of people tweeting about Books Are My Bag, a wonderful campaign that launched yesterday to encourage people to use bookshops, over the past week. It was actually one of my New Year’s Resolutions to visit more bookshops and I have also been blogging about them for A Tour of London Bookshops. Here was my reasoning, back in January:

I rarely go to bookshops and I find that really sad because it’s one of my favourite things to do. I know books tend to be cheaper online and I know it’s more convenient, but it’s just not as fun. I’m going to attempt to buy the majority of my books in actual bookshops and I’m hoping to combine this with the below resolution [to blog about bookshops]. I’ll also enjoy supporting many different business, rather than just Amazon and The Book Depository, although no doubt I’ll still use them throughout the year, especially as I own a Kindle.

It really is as simple as that. I have nothing against shopping online – I completely understand why people do it, especially overseas – and I read many eBooks, but I also love bookshops. And they won’t exist unless people use them. I’m happy to say that this year, I’ve bought more books from bookshops than online (including eBooks!) and I’ve had a lot of fun doing it.

Books Are My BagBooks Are My Bag
Cait and I thought we’d head down to one of our favourite bookshops, Foyles, Charing Cross Road, for the launch of Books Are My Bag. Shops across the UK were holding Big Bookshop Parties and Foyles was one of them. I’ve had nothing but excellent experiences in Foyles – lovely (and helpful) booksellers, excellent cafe and the largest selection of young adult and children’s fiction in London. (And they also put Harry Potter in Science Fiction & Fantasy, which I know pleases many people!). I had a go at their free tombola and won 10% off my purchase while Cait won a Gold Ticket and took home a beautiful red notebook (jealous!).

Books Are My BagBooks Are My Bag
I also bumped into the lovely people at Bloomsbury Children’s Books, who were dressed up as characters from Neil Gaiman’s latest book, Fortunately, the Milk. I had a picture taken with Professor Steg, but we’ll save that photo for another time ;).

Books Are My Bag
Books Are My BagBooks Are My Bag
I love browsing Foyles at the best of times, but it was especially enjoyable to see people win bookish prizes and get excited when given a Books Are My Bag tote (and I was also happy to see someone purchase Patrick Ness’ More Than This). I also noted that bookish people are a reserved lot! No one wanted to be first to have a go at the tombola or have their picture taken. Even if it is free!

Of course, the point of Books Are My Bag is to buy books from bookshops, so I picked up The Miseducation of Cameron Post, a young adult contemporary novel that has received a lot of praise from my fellow blogger friends: ‘a stunning and unforgettable literary début about discovering who you are and finding the courage to live life according to your own rules.’

Books Are My Bag
Cait and I also had a little break at Ray’s Jazz Cafe at Foyles because everybody knows you cannot have books without cake (or in this case, a chocolate and caramel shortbread).

Books Are My Bag
It was also encouraging to see so many people get involved with the campaign, to see so many people excited on Twitter (and #booksaremybag was trending), taking photos of the bookshops they visited and the books they bought. Hopefully it’s reminded people why bookshops are worth saving and what they need to do to save them.

Books Are My BagBooks Are My Bag
Do you support Books Are My Bag? Let me know which bookshops you visited and what you bought there!

Visit booksaremybag.com (or follow @booksaremybag) to find out more about the campaign. If you’re unable to visit bookshops, but would love to support them, I’d suggest using Hive, which donates a percentage of every sale to a bookshop (of your choice or your nearest).

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27 thoughts on “Books Are My Bag @ Foyles

  1. This is such an awesome idea. I would love to go book shopping more often rather than buying online. But buying english books in Germany sadly isn’t that much fun. (At least not where I live) can’t wait to visit London and all these lovely bookshops again (wish I could go now to get one of those bags :D)

  2. There is only one bookshop in Jersey now so I visited Waterstones in St Helier yesterday. I bought 5 books see my post. http://cleopatralovesbooks.wordpress.com/2013/09/14/books-are-my-bag-september-14/
    Unfortunately there was no party as they are refurbishing this weekend.

  3. I also took a trip down Charing Cross Road yesterday and bought three lovely books from Foyles – R.J. Palacio’s ‘Wonder’, Maria Semple’s ‘Where’d You Go, Bernadette’ and John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle’s ‘Let it Snow’ (in preparation for Christmas!) – and I got 20% off from the tombola!
    Lovely photos :)

    • Oh lovely! I wonder if I walked past you :)

      Let it Snow is perfect for Christmas (as is Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares). I really want to read Wonder and Where’d You Go, Bernadette too.

  4. I visited Blackwell’s in Oxford. I confess I didn’t buy anything (the shame!) although I did but Susan Cooper’s new book in the equally brilliant, if much smaller, Fordingbridge Books a couple of week’s ago.

    Instead I took my own debut novel, The End Of All Worlds, sold a copy and left some for them. As an Indie Author, you could say that I am in bed with Amazon but as explained in this post: http://journal.shepline.com/my-enduring-love-of-books-and-bookshops-explained/ my first love is and always will be bookshops.

  5. This is such a great idea! I saw someone with the bag on Twitter, but I didn’t realise it was launching until yesterday. I try and support local bookshops, and not to buy too many books online. Great post! I’m glad you had such a good time, it looked like such fun. :)

  6. Sounds like you had a great time. Also that Fortunately the Milk display is just amazing! My local bookstore didn’t have a party but I still think it was a great day. I blogged about it as well here: http://where-is-wallis.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/books-are-my-bag.html

  7. I wonder how long this campaign will go on? I’d love to experience it when I get to the UK next week. Eep!

  8. This is a brilliant campaign. I saw lots on Twitter about it last week, and will be heading to a bookshop as soon as I can to show my support. Sounds like you had fun at Foyles (amazing shop) and that caramel shortbreak looks delicious.

  9. I had no idea this was going on!

  10. I wish the US had something like this!! It would be so much fun, and a definitely a great way to promote reading and literacy.

  11. This is a really awesome idea. I wish I lived in the UK because this is really great. I also wish that bookshops in the Philippines would have these kinds of activities too but the annual Manila International Book Fair recently finished so that was fun too, haha.

  12. At Hive we are fully behind the Books Are My Bag campaign, anything that gets people down to bookshops has to be a great idea.

  13. […] Party! I loved participating in Books Are My Bag last year (you can read my blogpost all about it here) and so I’m looking forward to reading/hearing about what everyone gets up to this […]

  14. […] books from two bookshops: Waterstones Gower Street and Waterstones Covent Garden (last year I visited Foyles). I really do love indies – and I do support them – but I wanted to visit two bookshops that […]

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