Bookshop Day initial plans revealed

cartoon with people at bookshop


Save the date: Saturday 14 October 2023


  • Celebrating high-street bookshops and their power to bring people together
  • City spotlight on Manchester with local artists creating book-themed murals
  • Exclusive video with authors supporting bookshops
  • In-person author events taking place around the country
  • Limited-Edition Bag by Poonam Mistry available only from bookshops



London, 19 July 2023: The BA is delighted to reveal initial plans for Bookshop Day – the annual celebration of bookshops big and small taking place across the UK and Ireland – on Saturday 14 October. This year’s theme is “Bookshops Bringing People Together” and celebrations will include a spotlight on Manchester and its bookshops, a unique video with high-profile authors in support of bookshops, a Limited-Edition Bag and much more.


Bookshops play a vital role on their high streets, with their shops acting as community hubs, bringing people together to help foster a lifetime love of reading. Booksellers have a tangible impact in society, from hosting regular book clubs and in-person author events to offering pay-it-forward schemes, and from collaborating with local charities, food banks and schools, to creating safe spaces for their communities. Bookshop Day aims to remind customers that bookshops are much more than retail spaces for books.


Exciting celebrations are already planned for Bookshop Day 2023 This year’s Books Are My Bag Limited-Edition Bag designed by Poonam Mistry will be available exclusively from bookshops starting from Bookshop Day. Around the country, bookshops will be celebrating with their customers and authors, with events taking place in-store as well as special offers, promotions and exclusives. A video featuring high-profile authors talking about why they love bookshops and encouraging consumers to choose bookshops will be shared across social media. There will be eye-catching murals celebrating bookshops in Manchester city centre, created by local artists.



This Bookshop Day will spotlight Manchester and its wonderful bookshops. Local artists Danielle Rhoda and Maisy Summer will work with Jack Arts on two murals with sites on Shudehill and Church Street in the city centre.


L-R: Danielle Rhoda and Maisy Summer


Originally from Poland, now based between Barcelona and the UK, Danielle Rhoda is an illustrator, animator and maker of things. With a passion for depicting diversity in a delicate, sensitive but also naive way, she illustrates different people. She’s worked with the BBC, New York Times, City of London, CNN and more.


Award-winning illustrator and animator, Maisy Summer helps her clients communicate their stories personally and thoughtfully often with community, people, heritage and culture at the centre. Maisy is the director and founder of international creative hub Small Fry, a collective putting on creative events, projects, talks & workshops across the city and beyond. She is also a Guest Lecturer (FHEA), and runs briefs, talks and sessions at universities across the UK. Maisy’s worked with Hodder and Stoughton, The Sunday Times, Google Arts and Culture, Paperchase, Whitworth Art Gallery, Bury Art Museum, Stockport Hat Museum, Women in Print among others.



Illustrator Poonam Mistry is this year’s designer of the Books Are My Bag Limited-Edition Bag, which will be available exclusively in bookshops from Bookshop Day onwards, while stocks last.


Poonam’s style incorporates her love of nature and explores the relationship between pattern, shapes and colour creating beautifully intricate illustrations. Brought up around Indian fabrics, paintings and ornaments, she cites them as a source that heavily influences her work. She has collaborated with Penguin Random House, Tate Publishing, Buster Books, Hachette among many others, and she’s represented by ASH Literary.


Poonam joins the likes of artists and illustrators such as Jackie Morris, Dapo Adeola, Charlie Mackesy, Sir Peter Blake, Tracey Emin and Orla Kiely, who have designed previous editions of the bag.



To celebrate Bookshop Day, the Booksellers Association will be releasing a video featuring a broad range of authors, including household names and debut writers, which will be shared on Books Are My Bag socials channels (Instagram, Twitter and Facebook) on Wednesday 11 October, 6pm.



This year, the artwork for the Bookshop Day campaign has been commissioned from award-nominated illustrator Michaela Dias-Hayes. For the illustrations for the book Sunflower Sisters (Owlet Press, 2021), Michaela took inspiration from her part-Jamaican heritage and her former long term partner’s Indian family. For her first book as both author and illustrator, Colour and Me (Owlet Press, 2022), she took inspiration from conversations with her son. She loves to create accurately portrayed black and brown characters, inspired by her own family and experiences, and places them within stories that explore and celebrate black heritage in an accessible way for young readers.


Emma Bradshaw, Head of Campaigns at the BA, commented: “Bookshops bring people together throughout the year, every year. This Bookshop Day we want to remind consumers that their local bookshop is more than a retail space. It’s a place that creates and facilitates conversation; it’s a safe space for people who may feel lonely or marginalised; it’s a place to gather with friends, to meet authors, for children to listen to stories, and occasionally even a place to spark romance. Of course, your local bookshop is also staffed by experts who can help with recommendations and get you started on your gift shopping, as Bookshop Day marks 10 weeks until Christmas.”


Details of Bookshop Day events taking place across the country can be found on the Books are My Bag Facebook events page.


Follow the latest development on social media via @booksaremybag / #BookshopDay



For further information please contact Midas:

Anna Zanetti, E: Anna.Zanetti@midaspr.co.uk Tel: +44 (0)758 312 7515

Henrietta Richardson, E: Henrietta.Richardson@midaspr.co.uk Tel: +44 (0)750082834


About Bookshop Day

Bookshop Day take place every year on the second Saturday in October. In 2023 it will take place on Saturday 14 October. Booksellers, publishers, authors, illustrators and poets work collaboratively on the campaign to encourage consumers to shop in their local bookshop and ensure their high street is thriving. Participating retailers include Waterstones, Foyles, Blackwell’s and numerous independent bookshops. Bookshop Day launched in 2016. It is part of Books Are My Bag, a consumer-facing campaign run by the Booksellers Association to celebrate and promote bookshops in the UK and Ireland.


About The Booksellers Association (BA)

The Booksellers Association is the membership organization for booksellers in the UK & Ireland, and represents over 95% of booksellers. The BA exists to support, advise and work with its members to provide business-critical products and services for booksellers. These include National Book Tokens, our gift card which prompts increased footfall and keeps gift spending in the book trade; Batchline and Batch, our award-winning EPOS, stock management and payments service, which saves time, money and hassle when settling invoices and organising returns; a full range of money-saving affinity deals; a free Business Support Helpline; Booktime magazine; government lobbying and representation work across the nations and regions; networking opportunities and events; and Books Are My Bag, our range of consumer-facing activity and campaigns, which include Indie Book of the Month, Independent Bookshop Week, Bookshop Day, the Books Are My Bag Readers Awards, Christmas Books and Summer Books catalogues and more.