Friday, 13 September 2013

Why Books Are My Bag


The simplest of messages are always the most savvy - and most memorable!  Here's one for you all - if you love books, get down to your local bookstore, and show them some big gooey Michelin-Man-sized love!

I could walk you through my childhood memories of picture books, tell you how books were my friends from an early age, tell you about hours spent under the willow tree in my parents garden, with my head buried in a book.  I could recite the Shakespeare etched on teen-angst ridden grey cells, and jolly on about all the wonderful books that have kept me going long into adulthood.  I could tell you about all those amazing stories that still keep me up at night - the ones that make me laugh like an insane lady one minute, and turn me into a bedridden weeping baby, the next.  But, I'm sure your own book memories are so much better.

The sad truth is, we are losing bookstores everyday.  According to an article in the Guardian earlier this year, "73 Independent booksellers shut up shop in 2012 - more than one casualty for every week of the year - bringing the number left in the UK down to just 1,028."  

The reality is that if we love our bookstores as much as we keep saying - we need to put our money where our mouth is.  And, while online megastores may well fill our internet landscapes at every turn, it would be a tragedy to see bookstores and libraries go the way of dinosaurs.  Books are so much more than a quick buck at the click of a mouse.  They are much, much more.  There's a connection - books, people, stories and storytellers, we all belong together.  We all make memories together.

Tomorrow, the 'Books Are My Bag' campaign  celebrates books and bookstores with a big book party!  Yes, Britain and Ireland, that means you.  However, lets not just stop here - where ever you live,  the Ukraine, Japan, Alaska or even, I don't know, the Falklands?  It doesn't matter, you remember that Ice Age thing, right?  Yes.  Well, it's not too late - you can still show your love for books.  Lets keep our bookstores open for future generations.

11 comments:

  1. What a wonderful idea! I'm going to a local indie bookstore tonight for a signing--they always have the best authors.

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    1. Yah! Enjoy tonight - sounds fab! XO

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  2. Hey, Sweets ...

    I couldn't agree more... WE ALL need to do our share to keep the local bookstores in business.

    It's so sad really. The younger generations will never experience what we had with real books... ALL I see are tablets nowadays. No one carries books anymore. Sad.

    Have a wonderful weekend, Talei...

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    1. Hello Lovely!

      It's definitely sad when local stores close, particularly bookstores and I know the publishing industry is undergoing enormous changes but I still see a lot of books around London town, and especially on the tube here. I'm hopeful we can still have physical bookstores for people to go to and enjoy - nothing like human interaction right? And we are social creatures by nature. Keeping younger generations interested in books is, I think, the key.

      Have a fab weekend!! XO

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  3. I agree that it's sad that book stores close. The people who opened them (hopefully) did it out of the same love for stories that prompted me to write them.

    However, I'm afraid that unless the publishing industry updates the way it works, book stores will never be able to compete with amazon and the like.

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    1. Definitely difficult to compete but I think we'll still have shops on our streets and malls - maybe more consolidated though. I can't imagine the choice of a paper book will entirely disappear. Too many romantics amongst us. *deep sigh*

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  4. What a great idea. Sadly, one of my favorite bookstores is now closed :-(

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    1. It's a great campaign! One that can grow - and its simple, people love books, people buy books. I'm easy.

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  5. Oh, that is so sad, to see bookstores closing. I hate it when that happens. Also when libraries curtail their hours or shut down. Let's support books!

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    1. Hear! Hear! *waves banners, rattles desks*

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  6. Now don't get me wrong here. I LOVE book stores.
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    The closing of book stores, has little to do with how many books we buy. It has almost everything to do with how much money can be made off of books by publishers. The major expense in the publishing business relates to the books themselves. In the publishing business, the BOOK is the middle man. It is so much cheaper to publish electronically and eliminate "the middle man." That strategy was put into place some time ago.
    1. Raise the price of books drastically. check!
    2. Store store closings due to lagging sales. check!
    3. Start publishing electronically. check!
    4. Close more stores. check!
    5. Stop paying for paper products. check!
    6. Stop paying printers. check!
    7. Stop paying for shipping. check!
    8. Eliminate the return of all unsold books. check!
    9. Sell customer electronic readers. check!
    10. Raise prices of electronic books. check!

    Most people don't know that book sellers are pretty much the ONLY retailers that not only get to, but are required to return almost all unsold product (books) to the publisher. This is a HUGE expense to the publisher. What do they do with those returned books? They sell some of them at a discount, but almost all of them are destroyed.
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    On a related note! Earlier today, Blockbuster announced that they were closing all remaining stores and ceasing mail order business. Books and CD's. Different media, but same process.

    My mom worked in the publishing industry and when the books were returned (paper or hardback) the covers were cut off and the body of the book was destroyed. If the number or books sold and the unsold covers added together didn't equal the number of books a retailer was given, they had to pay for the difference.
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    This entire issue is all about expanding profits.
    Video tapes, CD's and now books. Unfortunately, I think it's already a done deal.

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