Bookshop Day – A beautiful poem in support of your Local Bookshop – we agree with every word!

  08 Oct '21   |  Posted by: Birlinn

Take a walk down the High Street on Bookshop Day and get lost in your Local Bookshop

Launched in 2016, Bookshop Day 2021 takes place on Saturday 9 October. Booksellers, publishers, authors, illustrators and poets work collaboratively on the campaign to encourage readers to shop in their local bookshop , support those who work there and ensure their high street is thriving. Participating retailers include Waterstones, Foyles, WHSmith, Blackwell’s and numerous independent bookshops. Bookshop Day is part of Books Are My Bag, the consumer-facing campaign run by the Booksellers Association to celebrate and promote bookshops in the UK and Ireland.

All of our authors are firm supporters of High Street bookshops. Alexander McCall Smith pops in to his local Edinburgh shops regularly – Topping, Waterstones, Golden Hare, Lighthouse, Blackwells and just round the corner – The Edinburgh Bookshop.

Last year, he wrote a poem for bookshops and all who work in them and visit them. Listen to it now and join him in getting lost in a bookshop.

Getting Lost in a Bookshop

The fantasy of losing oneself appeals to some I suppose.

What would it be like to be in a trackless desert with only one’s shadow as guide?

Or in a jungle so overgrown that even the sky is invisible, let alone an indicative horizon?

For me the place to be lost is a bookshop;

I’d have no objection to finding myself surrounded by unfamiliar shelves

By corners that harboured poetry or anthropology or Mediterranean cuisine.

I would not send for help.

No SOS is necessary when one is entirely happy with the company.

Much later, laden with new friends – which is what books essentially are ­– I’d find my way to a counter, reluctant to leave

But knowing – and grateful for the knowledge – that bookshops are still there.

Alexander McCall Smith, on the re-opening of bookshops, July 2020
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