Independent Bookshop Week (IBW) is the annual campaign celebrating independent bookshops across the UK and Ireland, taking place between 18-25 June 2022.
Returning with lots of exciting activities, Independent Bookshop Week is encouraging book-lovers of all ages to visit their local independent bookshop and join the celebrations this June.
Follow the latest developments via social media: #IndieBookshopWeek @BooksAreMyBag
The Booksellers Association (BA) has today revealed the line-up for this year’s Independent Bookshop Week, the annual celebration of independent bookshops across the UK and Ireland, taking place between 18-25 June 2022 and with Hachette as the headline sponsor.
With nearly 700 independent bookshops confirmed to take part, celebrations taking place up and down the country include: literary festivals organised by independent bookshops, including the inaugural Brighton Book Festival; special podcast recordings taking place inside the bookshops; poetry showcases; nationwide bookshop crawls; exclusive early releases for indies; beautiful window displays; local school events, and much more.
What is Independent Bookshop Week?
Independent Bookshop Week (IBW) was launched in 2006 and is part of the Books Are My Bag campaign. It is a celebration of independent bookshops nationwide, and the role ‘indies’ play in their communities. At the end of 2021, the number of independent bookshops in BA membership grew to 1027 shops, up from 867 in 2016. The headline sponsor of Independent Bookshop Week is Hachette UK.
What’s happening during Independent Bookshop Week?
- Rev Richard Coles will be doing a tour of independent bookshops during Independent Bookshop Week, signing stock of his crime debut Murder Before Evensong (Orion). The tour will stop at Chorleywood Bookshop (Hertfordshire) on Monday 20 June and City Books (Hove) on Wednesday 22 June, among others.
- Marcus Leaver, Welbeck co-founder and author of A Little Book About Books, will visit 60 independent bookshops throughout Independent Bookshop Week, with the book available exclusively from independent bookshops until September. Confirmed indies include Not Just Books Limited (Thetford), The Book Lounge (Carnforth, Cumbria), The Mainstreet Trading Company (St Boswells), The Edinburgh Bookshop, Booka Bookshop (Oswestry), The Poetry Pharmacy (Shropshire), The Book House (Thame), The Aldeburgh Bookshop, The Holt Bookshop (Norfolk) and The Book Case (Lowdham).
- The Summer Bookshop Crawl will be setting up nationwide bookshop crawls, taking place between 17-19 June and covering 10 different locations, including Belfast, Bristol, Edinburgh, Falmouth, Hastings, Leicester, Newcastle, Norwich, Sheffield and Stratford upon Avon. As well as indie bookshops, their tours will also include second-hand and charity bookshops. Participants interested in doing a self-guided bookshop crawl will be able to download a welcome pack from the website including the map, downloadable routes, and a bookshop crawl ID that they can use to claim any discounts and perks from the local bookshops they visit. More info here.
- Authors and avid bookshop lovers Liz Fenwick and Brigid Coady will be setting up in their annual bookshop crawl with the Romantic Novelists Association, visiting indie bookshops across the country and meeting local booksellers.
- Afrori Books and The Feminist Bookshop (Brighton) will be launching the first Brighton Book Festival on 24-26 June, with headline names including Guvna’B, Yvonne Bailey Smith, Dorothy Koomson, Leroy Logan, Sabba Khan and Alison Rumfitttaking in discussions covering the myth of the mainstream, masculinities, feminist futures, queer books in Brighton and British culture in books. There will also be a variety of workshops focussing on adapting books to film, pitching your novel, and developing soundtracks for books. More info here.
- Drake The Bookshop (Stockton-on-Tees) are bringing back their Great North Author Tour (GNAT) on Friday 24 and Saturday 25 June. The tour will see ten authors deliver 20-minute performances and creative writing workshops in local schools on Friday, before going on a whistle-stop tour of Stockton, Saltburn, Guisborough, Loftus, Thirsk and Ripon on Saturday, stopping in local bookshops to sign copies of their books. More info here.
- Portobello Bookshop (Edinburgh) will be doing an event with children’s author and illustrator Eilidh Muldoon, who will be visiting the bookshop on the afternoon of Monday 20 June, to do a reading and a colouring session aimed at young children. On Friday 24 June, Rebecca Solnit will be coming to Edinburgh for a special evening event at the Assembly Rooms on George Street, to discuss her two latest books Orwell’s Roses and Recollections of My Non-Existence, in conversation with award-winning journalist and author Chitra Ramaswamy. More info here.
- The Rabbit Hole (Brigg) will be collaborating with Hull City Council at The Big Malarkey Festival, as well as putting together a series of author events and children’s activities to mark Independent Bookshop Week. More info here.
- The Ginger Cat Children’s Bookshop (Kilmacolm) will be doing an event with Amy B Moreno on Monday 20 June at St Columba’s Junior School in Kilmacolm, to celebrate Amy’s book A Billion Balloons of Questions.
- Griffin Books (Penarth) is organising lots of events as part of the Penarth Literature Festival to coincide with IBW, with daily events featuring Caryl Lewis, Pamela Petro, Peter Finch, Tessa Hadley, Lauren Ace; a crime-writing workshop with Katherine Stansfield; a poetry showcase hosted by Penarth-based poet Stephen Payne; literary quizzes and more. More info here.
- The Bookery (Crediton) will hold a series of events to mark Independent Bookshop Week, including Patrick Gale and award-winning singer-songwriter Jim Causley will be chatting about Patrick’s latest book Mother’s Boy and Jim will be performing songs based on Causley’s poems on Tuesday 21 June; best-selling authors Laura Shepherd-Robinson and Emma Stonex will be in conversation in an event on Wednesday 22 June; there will be one-on-one ‘illustrator clinics’ with author and illustrator Sarah McIntyre, who is also a patron of The Bookery, on Saturday 18 June. More info here.
Podcast and Online
As well as in-person events, Independent Bookshop Week celebrations will include lots of online activity, including:
- Simon Savidge and Melanie Sykes will be the official Book Club for Indie Bookshop Week again this year. They’ll be reading a book from the Indie Book Awards shortlist for their June Book Club, which they will then discuss on their YouTube channel. More info here.
- YouTube influencer Lauren and the Books will be hosting a Cosy Reading Night on Saturday 25 June between 7-10pm to celebrate Indie Bookshop Week. More info here.
- Round Table Books (London) will be hosting a podcast recording of Down the Rabbit Hole, the podcast for grown-ups who love children’s books, hosted by Caroline Carpenter, Hannah Love, Charlie Morris and Sam Sedgman. More info here.
- Denny’s Books (Thames Ditton, Surrey)will be hosting an episode of the podcast Writers Routine, a show discussing the work and lives of writers, hosted by Dan Simpson. More info here.
- Gerrards Cross Bookshop (Buckinghamshire)will be hosting a recording a show of the podcast We’d Like A Word, a radio show and podcast about the words we write, the words we read, the words we say, hosted by Paul Waters and Stevyn Colgan. More info here.
Building on the success of previous years, the Indie Twinning strand of Independent Bookshop Week (IBW) is coming back for a third year, with independent publishers and independent bookshops teaming up to develop bespoke programmes of activity across the country. Confirmed indie twinning activities include:
- The Book Hive (Norwich) will be twinning with independent publisher And Other Stories, to mark the publication of The Visitors by Jessi Jezewska Stevens. Inspired by the events in the book, set on the eve of the Occupy Wall Street protests, and whose protagonist suffers from hallucinations of a garden gnome, The Book Hive’s three-storey building will become “gnome man’s land”, inviting customers to build a new society and suggest a law or policy for the soon-to-be independent utopia/dystopia. At the end of the week, a team of booksellers and publishers will pick their favourites, who will be rewarded with an And Other Stories goody bag.
- October Books (Southampton) are twinning with Manchester University Press. They will be doing a book launch event on Thursday 23 June for Borderland by Phil Hubbard, who used to work at October Books as a bookseller.
- The Ginger Cat Children’s Bookshop (Kilmacolm) will be twinning with Andersen Press, with a window displays featuring a hand-painted standee from Robert Starling based on his new book The Bookshop Mice, along with activity sheets and signed bookplates; point of sale material from Elmer, The Bolds, Phil Earle, Harry Woodgate, and signed book plates from David McKee and Ross MacKenzie.
- Forum Books (Corbridge) are delighted to be twinning with Head of Zeus, with more plans to be revealed.
- Wallingford Bookshop (Oxfordshire) will be twinning with Guppy Books, and are planning a combination of online and in person activity, with something happening each day of Independent Bookshop Week.
- Green Dragon Bookshop (Crewkerne, Somerset) will be joining forces with the Louise Walters Books, a one-woman independent press from Northamptonshire.
Follow the latest developments via social media: #IndieBookshopWeek @BooksAreMyBag