How to celebrate Independent Bookshop Week

From online events with bestselling authors, to a picture book celebrating key workers, to virtual bookshop crawls, plans for Independent Bookshop Week have y been revealed.

Organised by the Booksellers Association and sponsored by Hachette, the annual celebration of independent bookshops across the UK and Ireland runs from Saturday June 20 to Sunday June 27.

This year the event has been adapted to include online events to give book lovers across the country access to authors and books during lockdown.

The week will celebrate the role indie booksellers have continued to play in building a sense of community during the pandemic, as well as encouraging customers to support their local high street by shopping local at what is a particularly challenging time for small retailers.

Here’s what happeningMeg Rosoff, bestselling author of How I Live Now, will be joining the series of virtual events At Home with 4 Indies, created by booksellers from Book-ish, Crickhowell, Linghams, Wirral, Forum Books, Corbridge, and Booka Bookshop, Shropshire.

The event will be live on the At Home with 4 Indies Facebook page on Tuesday June 23 at 8pm.

Meg Rosoff will also be doing an online event with her local indie bookshop The Aldeburgh Bookshop, Suffolk, and Arts Editor of ITV News Nina Nannar. She will be talking about her latest book The Great Godden.

The event will be streamed on the Aldeburgh Jubilee Hall website on Thursday June 25 at 7pm.

Maggie O’Farrell, bestselling author of the Women Prize nominated novel Hamnet, will join At Home with 4 Indies on Friday June 26 at 8pm.

Cressida Cowell, Waterstones Children’s Laureate and author of How to Train Your Dragon series, will be holding a virtual bookshop tour on her social channels, featuring a different indie every day for the duration of IBW. Bookshops confirmed so far are Mainstreet Trading, Melrose, Little Ripon in Ripon, Silverwood Events, Kirkham, Preston, and Mr B’s Emporium, Bath.

Damian Barr’s Literary Salon will be hosting a virtual Bookshop Tour during Independent Bookshop Week across all their social platforms, celebrating some of the best indies from across the UK.

Every day at 4pm Damian Barr will go live on Instagram with a different independent bookshop, getting a glance at their bookshelves, discussing their ethos, how they’ve coped with lockdown, their favourite books, and more literary loveliness.

Follow @damianbarrliterarysalon on Insta and keep an eye out at 4pm each day to join in.

To celebrate National Reading Group Day, which lands on the first day of Independent Book Week, the Reading Agency will be encouraging reading groups across the UK to read The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri. There will be a discussion with the author on Facebook on Saturday June 20.

Musician and author Tim Burgess, with writer and DJ Dave Haslam, will be doing a book-inspired DJ set, with a special playlist released on Spotify at 2pm on Sunday June 21.

Steve Chambers and Luan Goldie, co-authors of Resist: Stories of Uprising, a collection of stories and essays exploring two millennia of British protest, will be doing a Facebook Live event with Bookmarks Bookshop, London, on Friday June26.

Luan Goldie and Julia Bell, novelist, essayist, poet, creative writing course director and author of Radical Attention, will be taking over the social channels of Newham Bookshop, London, and sharing their favourite books available to purchase from Newham.

David Constantine, award-winning poet, author and translator of Hölderlin, Brecht, and Goethe, will be doing an Instagram takeover of the Golden Hare Books, Edinburgh, account, sharing his favourite reads.

Emma Carroll will be doing Facebook Live events with Max Minerva’s Books, Bristol, on Monday June 22 at 4:40pm; The Book Nook, Hove, on Thursday June 25 at 11am; and Chicken and Frog bookshop, Essex, at 2pm on Thursday June 25.

Emma is the author of wonderful books for young people including Letters From the Lighthouse and Frost Hollow Hall.

Storyteller John Kirk will do a Zoom reading of Roald Dahls’ The Twits hosted by Chicken and Frog bookshop, Essex, on Friday June 26 at 11am.

Onjali Q Rauf, bestselling children’s authors shortlisted in the Indie Book Awards for The Star Outside my Window will be doing an event with The Book Nook, Hove, on Tuesday June 23 at 11am.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Andersen’s Not Now Bernard, rapper, comedian and actor Ben Bailey Smith and Andersen Press founder Klaus Flugge will be doing a virtual storytime on indies’ social media channels throughout the week.

Participating bookshops include The Bookcase, Nottingham, Lindum Books. Lincoln, Harbour Bookshop, Kingsbridge, Dorset, Steyning Bookshop, Blue Bear Bookshop, Farnham, Pickled Pepper Books, Crouch End, London, Chicken and Frog, Brentwood, Browsers, Porthmadog, , Barnett Books, Wadhurst, Little Ripon Bookshop, Westbourne Bookshop, Bournemouth.

Join author, feminist and political activist Esua Jane Goldsmith, author of the memoir The Space Between Black and White, for her event via Zoom with October Books, Southampton, on Thursday June 25 at 7pm.

Burley Fisher Books, Haggerton, London, will be taking part in a special episode of the Vintage Podcast, hosted by Leena Normington.

Sykes & Savidge Book Club, the official Independent Bookshop Week Book Club for 2020 with radio and TV presenter Melanie Sykes and influencer Simon Savidge, will hold a special session discussing Graceland by Bethan Roberts on Thursday June 25.

Booktuber Lauren and the Books will be hosting a special Indie Bookshop Week #cosyreadingnight on Saturday June 27 between 7pm and 10pm.

As the Romantic Novelist Association celebrates its 60th anniversary, it is partnering with Independent Bookshop Week to host a virtual bookshop crawl, with bookseller interviews and book recommendations throughout the week.

The Bookshop Band will be holding an Indie Bookshop Week Special Live Concert on Friday June 26 at 8.30pm.

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