Tracey Emin to design 2014 Collector’s Edition Books Are My Bag

Tracey Emin to design 2014 Collector’s Edition Books Are My Bag

Award-winning British artist, Tracey Emin, will design a Collector’s Edition bag to celebrate the 2014 Books Are My Bag campaign, the biggest ever promotion of physical bookshops in the UK & Ireland. The bags will be exclusively available from chain and independent bookshops nationwide, offering booklovers a unique platform to express their support for their local stores.

Emin will unveil the new design to consumers as part of the launch of this year’s campaign, which will run between Thursday October 9th – Saturday October 11th. The three day festivity will begin on Super Thursday, one of the busiest days in the publishing calendar and will culminate in Big Bookshop Parties on Saturday October 11th.

Emin is the latest figure to back the campaign, which has won the support of over a hundred high profile figures since its launch in September 2013 including, David Cameron & Ed Milliband, Lily Cole Dr Stephen Hawkins, and Nigel Slater as well as the UK’s bestselling writers.

Emin’s support follows recent figures from The Booksellers Association which showed the number of independent bookshops gracing British high streets had fallen below 1,000. She said that books and bookshops were fundamental education for her:

“I travel a lot and the thought of getting on a plane or a train without a book would just drive me insane. A few years ago I thought I was being smart and I bought a kindle…I have never used it. To me there is nothing more pleasurable then turning the pages of a book and realising that this book for a certain period of time is going to become my best friend.

“It upsets me that there aren’t enough bookshops. I have some really beautiful first edition books and when I was younger in my teens I used to hang out at Turret Books on Lamb’s Conduit Street that was owned by the late great Bernard Stone. I could spend hours and hours in Bernard’s book shop on the ladders, it was a fundamental education for me.  Once a month he’d have soirees, poetry readings and book signings. I feel really lucky to know that I have met Alan Sillitoe, Lawrence Durell, Laurie Lee and many great writers – including Carol Ann Duffy, the Poet Laureate. I still have my signed copy of The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner.”

The campaign was launched to consumers in October of last year, devised by the advertising agency, M & C Saatchi, pro bono, under the direction of its Founding Partner, James Lowther. It is sponsored jointly by The Booksellers Association and The Publishers Association, with Dame Gail Rebuck (Chair of Penguin Random House) and Patrick Neale (BA President) Joint Chairs.

The 2014 campaign will continue to highlight the vital role of high street and campus bookshops and will build on the success of promotion in 2013, which created hundreds of thousands of walking adverts for bookshops, through consumers sporting the BAMB bag. Over 100 celebrities were photographed with last year’s canvas bag – this year’s celebrity design hopes to capture the hearts and minds of hundreds more. This year’s launch will also see the release of The Bookshop Book, Jen Campbell’s sequel to Weirdest Things Customers Say in a Bookshop, which features 50 UK bookshops.

Dame Gail Rebuck, Joint Chair of the BAMB Steering Group, said: “We are delighted to have won the support of the wonderful Tracey Emin for this year’s campaign. The exclusive, collectable new bag design, which will sit alongside the existing iconic bag, helps us to reinforce the campaign message that bookshops are exciting places. Books Are My Bag offers the publishing and bookselling industry the unique opportunity to come together and celebrate all that is good about the high street. Last year, bookshops reported a sales increase of 18.5%, and a footfall increase of 17.5% on the day of the BAMB consumer launch which saw a spontaneous outburst of enthusiasm and creativity in the form of bookshop events and parties throughout the UK.  The campaign is also supported by an ever growing number of renowned writers, actors, artists and politicians, all photographed with the BAMB bag and talking about their favourite book and bookshop.”  

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