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All Our Money Goes to Books: Books Are My Bag

A couple of weeks ago we had a post on the blog about the Books Are My Bag campaign, which supports bookshops. They printed tons of beautiful orange bags, which you will receive when you purchase a book at the participating book shops. You all know that the team at Hot Key loves visiting bookshops and buying stacks and stacks of books (which is why we have the regular feature ‘All Our Money Goes to Books’ on the blog). Today we have a special Books Are My Bag edition. This is what the bought in the last couple of weeks.

BAMB haulSARAH B – I made a special trip on 14th Sept to Newham Books, my new local(ish) bookshop. They had made cakes and were offering tea on demand for customers, plus had a few local authors signing! I knew I was looking for Meg Rossoff’s PICTURE ME GONE as it was scheduled for our Book Club that month, but I wasn’t expecting or looking to find a signed copy which was a bonus. And then, I swooned over a special edition of David Almond’s Skellig, (which I’ve actually never read, I know!)  and in this beautiful new version it was the perfect excuse to pick it up, and that was signed too. So, it was definitely worth the trip!

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Down-and-OutSANNE – I have always loved wandering around bookshops and this campaign was an excellent excuse for me to go out and buy some books! First, I went to the Brick Lane Bookshop, where I picked up a copy of THE BOOKSTORE STRIKES BACK by Ann Patchet, which is the perfect story to read during this campaign (and it’s only ten pages, so you have plenty of time to read your other books too). While paying for my first book, I snatched up DOWN AND OUT IN PARIS AND LONDON and BOOKS V. CIGARETTES by George Orwell, which were conveniently located next to the cash register. I also visited Daunt Books at 61 Cheapside, where I found a copy of EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE by Jonthan Safran Foer, a book that I have had my eye on for a while but always forgot to buy. If you want to see more of what I bought, I also made a video about all the books I’ve bought during this campaign so far.

sophie_cover_webLIVS – I love the children’s section at Foyles Charing Cross Road – you will always find something brilliant be it a new author or a new edition of an old favourite because the staff know everything there is to know ever-in-the-world about children’s books. On this particular trip it was old favourites for me: STARGIRL by Jerry Spinelli as I lost my copy last year and I’m determined that my 11 year old goddaughter should read it and SOPHIE’S WORLD by Jostein Gaarder. My R.S. teacher at school used to read us bits from this and I loved it, but have yet it ‘in order’ as it were. Off to my local bookshop Clapham Books to have a coffee and a chat with Roy, one of the booksellers. He seems to give anything a go and is therefore one of the most widely read people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. I mentioned I loved the tube (yes, really) but hadn’t had a chance to sample any of the books published to coincide with its 150th anniversary. Roy talked me through his favourites of the bunch and I came away with UNDERGROUND, OVERGROUND A PASSENGER’S HISTORY OF THE TUBE by Andrew Martin, which is proving as wonderfully interesting as Roy promised. Oh, and THE TESTAMENT OF MARY by Colm Tóibín). Ah yes, and a pre-order for Donna Tartt’s THE GOLDFINCH.

Books are my bag -moniqueMONIQUE – I must admit, before hearing about the ‘Books Are My Bag’ campaign I was rather guilty of browsing and buying all of my books online.  Even if I did end up visiting a book shop it would be a large book retailer on my high street. I was totally unaware of how resourceful my local INDEPENDENT bookshop could actually be, so when I first found about the launch of the ‘Books Are My Bag’ campaign I instantly wanted to get involved. I was fortunate enough to came across a quaint and very friendly bookshop called ‘The Book Box’ based in Hackney, East London who specialise in selling quality books to children but also offer a diverse range of Adult Fiction. I was not only pleased by the fact that they stock Hot Key Books’ very own MAGGOT MOON but that the shop also features a lovely ceramics café, located in their basement. To support my local bookshop, I decided to purchase a modern classic, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee. I feel it is definitely a book you should read at least once in your lifetime and was slightly embarrassed that I haven’t already. I’m very interested in discovering the way in which Lee is able to explore major themes, like rape and racial inequality through the voice of a young child.
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– I’m pretty sure it’s impossible to leave a bookshop without buying anything. Proof when this month I went to Laure Eve’s book launch this month and ended up leaving with MAUS – something we’ve talked about on the blog before and I was dying to read! “I’m just popping into Waterstones” on a trip to Salisbury left me with FREAKANOMICS (I love non-fiction!) and “I’ll meet you in Tesco in a minute” left my boyfriend wandering round the frozen food section whilst I picked up BOOKS & CIGARETTES in Waterstones Andover. And a lovely trip to Brick Lane Bookshop (my local) ended up in me purchasing a copy of LOLITA – so much for the one in one out rule.

Have you been flaunting your Books Are My Bag bag all over town? We’d love to see what you bought. You can send us a picture @HotKeyBooks (and don’t forget @BooksAreMyBag!)