Books Are My Bag

Books Are My Bag sent me a Reading Survival Kit!

Well, remember the #bookshopcrawl? It was run by Books Are My Bag, which is a nationwide campaign to support bookshops – did you know that almost 40% of books are bought in bookshops? But they’re still under threat. To help combat this, from the 9th to the 12th of October, BAMB parties and events will be going on in bookshops up and down the country – find your local one, join in! Search here for your nearest event.

The lovely people at BAMB contacted me a few weeks ago and asked whether they could send me a box of stuff. You know me, I love stuff. And BAMB stuff is superior stuff. Anyway. So it arrived this week, on Tuesday – I’d been out drinking wine with a pal, and I’d barely been home five minutes before my mum disappeared and came back with an enormous box. I opened it to be assaulted with SO MUCH orange tissue paper. Lots and lots of orange tissue paper, and a box of treasures:


Look at all that stuff!

I confess, it’s quite embarrassing how long it took me to realise the theme going on here, but in my defence I was a) a bit drunk and b) taking all this out of the sea of orange tissue paper. But still. Embarrassing.

  • three books:
  1. Oranges are not the only fruit, Jeanette Winterson. I read this just a few weeks ago, and absolutely loved it. It’s only through being a little slow that I hadn’t yet bought myself a copy, and this one is so beautiful – a lovely soft of soft-silky-kinda-velvety-but-not cover, and a bicycle, and yes. Gorgeous.
  2. Five quarters of the orange, Joanne Harris. I hadn’t heard of this, but I loved Chocolat so I’m looking forward to curling up with it soon.
  3. A personalised copy of The bookshop book, Jen Campbell. This is the official book of this year’s BAMB campaign – “a love letter to bookshops all around the world”. It looks fantastic and I’m excited!
  • a copy of Mark Forsyth’s essay, The unknown unknown, on bookshops and the delight of not getting what you wanted – which is very important and special and was something I really came to appreciate doing the #bookshopcrawl
  • a fancy BAMB book token (stay tuned to see what I eventually spend it on, after months of agonising, because I always convince myself that I must spend book tokens on something Special and Profound so can’t choose)
  • a BAMB tshirt which I want to wear everywhere (I would love to wear it to work but I think that’s a step too far)
  • an original BAMB tote bag, and one of the new ones, designed by Tracy Emin, which I wasn’t massively keen on at first but it’s definitely grown on me


  • a “BOOKS ARE MY BA(D)G(E)”
  • a cool notepad in three layers which might just get me organised… maybe
  • some BAMB postcards – I’ll find interesting places to put those
  • an orange packet of tissues – presumably my books will make me cry!
  • a packet of orange Eclairs which, of course, we opened immediately “to try”, and which I’ve been picking at all week
  • an invite to the BAMB launch at Foyles next Thursday

I’m so honoured to have received such a brilliant box of goodies, and I hope you see the campaign, join in, have fun.

Love your local bookshop, your not-local bookshop, your favourite bookshop, the one you pass on the way to the supermarket but have never been into, the one you’ve only ever bought a postcard from. Check inside every now and then to see what they’ve got, go to an event, ask them to order something for you, ask them what they recommend, what they hated, what they’ve always meant to read but haven’t. See what they have to offer – they might just surprise you.

Love them, and use them, and appreciate them, otherwise they’ll be gone for good.


3 thoughts on “Books Are My Bag sent me a Reading Survival Kit!”

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