Books

More than 400 indie bookshops are celebrating Independent Bookshop Week

The national event is running until Saturday, with 'His Dark Materials' author Phillip Pullman attending readings and book signings in Sevenoaks, Stockton on Tees, and Bedford

The Big Issue has been backing independent bookshops all year as they take on their corporate cousins.

We are fully behind the Independent Bookshop Alliance –  the “social Amazon” launched by Big Green Bookshop’s Simon Key with the help of John Bird earlier this year – and you can show your support with the Independent Bookshop Week, running this week until Saturday.

There are scores of events across the country with more than 400 indie sellers taking part to keep bookworms hooked until the very end.

Independent Bookshops Alliance John Bird Simon Key Darren Henley
Darren-Henley-John-Bird-Simon-Key-Independent-bookshops
Arts Council England chief Darren Henley (left) joins John Bird and Simon Key at the Independent Bookshops Alliance launch

Among the highlights of the event, organised by the Booksellers Association, bestselling His Dark Materials author Philip Pullman will be attending readings and book signings at Rogan’s Books, Bedford (18 June), Drake The Bookshop, Stockton on Tees (19 June), and Sevenoaks Bookshop, Sevenoaks (21 June).

The writer will be looking to reel readers into his popular fantasy world with a ticket to Rogan’s Books granting attendees access to themed family activities at The Panacea Museum while those at Drake will board their very own La Belle Sauvage and Sevenoaks Bookshop is gifting every guest with a unique bookplate, designed by illustrator Katharine McEwen.

Poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy is once again leading Pan Macmillan’s renowned Shore 2 Shore tour, which will see a host of poets, such as Gillian Clarke, Imtiaz Dharker and Jackie Kay travel the breadth of the country, performing their work in a number of venues. Dates and locations include: Newham Books, London (18 June), The Aldeburgh Bookshop, Aldeburgh (19 June), The Bookshop, Kibworth (20 June), The Bookcase, Lowdham (20 June), White Rose Books, Thirsk (21 June), Atkinson-Pryce Books, Biggar (22 June) and Bookpoint, Dunoon (23 June).

The IBW Book Awards winners have also been unveiled as part of the event with Amor Towles’ A Gentleman in Moscow scooping the best Adult book, while Geraldine McCaughrean took the Children’s prize for Where the World Ends.

The panel of authors, bookshops and journalists also awarded Nicola Davies and Emily Sutton the Picture Book crown for Lots: The Diversity of Life on Earth.

Get down to your local bookshop this week and get involved.

Image: Flickr/Bex Walton

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