LoveYourBookshopDay on August 12 is an Australia-wide celebration of local bookstores. Bookstores across the country are holding celebratory events to mark the day, including giveaways, dress-ups (feel like dressing up as your favourite literary hero?), writing competitions, treasure hunts, author talks, and musicians in store. (Find a full list of events happening on the day here.)
Anyone who has a favourite local bookstore knows it’s not just the books that keep you coming back. It’s the atmosphere, the palpable sense of love for reading, and most importantly, the people who work there – always knowledgeable, better read than English professors, and happy to give you tailored recommendations to suit your reading tastes.
Only in a real bookstore can a bookseller give you such personalised recommendations. We spoke to Fiona Stager of Avid Reader bookstore in Brisbane who sees this as a key strength of local book shops and another reason why we should all support them.
‘There’s a lot of white noise, it can be tricky to get honest feedback that match you as a reader,’ says Fiona. ‘Booksellers can match the book to the reader. We are really good at curating.’
‘We see thousands of books published every week and our job is to go through and choose the best. We move people to extend their range of reading. We do discoverability really well.
‘Nothing beats being able to see the book and read the page.’
In addition, Fiona says, bookshops have a role in promoting local authors as well as international ones. ‘We play an important part in maintaining the Australian story,’ she says.
This year Avid Reader is holding the ‘richest per word prize’ – a $500 cash prize competition for the best 50-word story, as well as other fun competitions, events and prizes.
Other fun-filled events around the country include designing your own book at Berkelouw Books in Sydney; a huge line-up of guest authors at Fairfield Bookshop, Melbourne; a best-dressed literary character competition at Fullers in Hobart; a treasure hunt at Gleebooks Sydney; book-buying advice from authors Hannah Kent and Rebekah Clarkson at Matilda’s in Adelaide; the chance to meet your favourite authors at Paper Bird Children’s Books & Arts in Fremantle. And many, many more…
Love Your Bookshop Day Ambassadors, including Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton, Kathy Lette, Robert Hoge, Geraldine Brooks, Alan Brough, Judy Nunn, Graeme Simsion, Alice Pung, Peter Fitzsimons, John Safran, Michael Veitch, Peggy Frew, Jeff Sparrow, Rachael Treasure, Will Kostakis and Danielle Binks, will be out and about talking about why bookshops matter and why we love them. The public is invited to join them in expressing their love for bookshops using the hashatag #whyIlovemybookshop.
Join us in celebrating everything we love about bookstores, and check out the website for more info.