Celebrating bookshops

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The Borders is set to “wake up to a sea of orange” on Saturday as bookshops across the region launch the Books Are My Bag (BAMB) campaign.

Books Are My Bag is a nationwide campaign to celebrate bookshops.

Among independent bookshops supporting the BAMB campaign is The Mainstreet Trading Company, in St Boswells.

Winner of Independent Bookseller of the Year at The Bookseller Industry Awards and winner of the Best Bookshop award in The Telegraph Best Small Shops Awards 2012, The Mainstreet Trading Company is stocking bookmarks and bags for customers who buy books on the launch weekend.

Mainstreeet Trading Company owner Rosamund De La Hey said: “We are hugely supportive of this amazing industry-wide campaign which has attracted the attention of well- known book lovers around the UK.”

Support has also come from The Bookshop Band. Known for their library of bookish melodies and witty tales of bookshops past – and their sell-out performance at Mainstreet Trading recently – the trio have written a song especially to mark the campaign, entitled, A Shop with Books In.

Ms De La Hey continued: “Bookshops are all about community, people and story. Come and join us at The Mainstreet Trading Company this Saturday when we’ll be giving away lots of goodies. Children can also discover our new ‘book burrow’ listening dens for audio books.”

This collaboration between publishers, bookshops and authors is the biggest ever promotion of bookshops.

For many people bookshops conjure fond images of book readings, in-store cafes and delight at the discovery of a new author. In fact, 56 per cent of all book buying decisions are made by consumers in a bookshop and high street bookshops (both chains and independents) still account for almost 40 per cent of books bought by consumers. Yet, many high street bookshops are under threat.

Books Are My Bag aims to halt this process by celebrating the nation’s love of bookshops, calling on book lovers to show their support by visiting and purchasing a book from their favourite bookshop on Saturday.

According to BAMB’s mission statement: “When you buy a book from a bookshop, you get a possession you may well value for the rest of your life. You’ll have enjoyed the pleasure of browsing other books before making your choice. You may well have got advise about it from someone who loves books even more than you do, the bookseller on the other side of the counter.

“And you will have partaken in a process that is a vital part of our culture, our community and our high street.”

The campaign has been launched by M & C Saatchi.