Saturday August the 11th is National Bookshop Day in Australia. This is an annual event to celebrate bookshops and their role in our communities.
National Bookshop Day has a Facebook page and just looking at all the wonderful events planned around the country makes me smile.
I have worked for numerous bookshops in my career, all of which I have absolutely loved and been passionate about. Katie and I met working in a bookshop – Borders in 1998, when we set up and worked in their first store in Australia at South Yarra.
When we go on family holidays one of the things I need to do is find the local bookshop – just to have a look. My partner always says to me – “But, you work in a bookshop! Why do you want to visit others?” But why would I not? I love the product passionately, I might see something I didn’t know existed and I can have a chat with the store owners about lovely books new and old.
I have used the Book Depository, I have used Amazon and I have used Australian book websites too – they all have their place of course. But none of those sites can replace the beauty of browsing a bookshop or picking up a gorgeously designed hardcover or asking incredibly knowledgeable and well read staff for recommendations.
That is the thing about our Australian bookstores; we have amazing staff who are so totally passionate about what they do. Bookselling is a retail like no other. You don’t just hand someone a dress and say try this on for size, bookselling is about getting the right book into the right hands. Children’s bookselling in particular is an art and of such great importance for the future of reading in our country.
Over the past couple of years there has been a huge resurgence in people buying handmade and artisan in craft and clothing and food – let’s support our local bookshops like we do those other products.
Are you visiting a bookshop this Saturday? What are your favourite bookshops? We’d love you to share your thoughts and loves with us.
* Katie did a series of posts about children’s bookshops around the world that you can re-read here *