BOOKS ARE MY BAG – Reader Awards and Bookshop Day

Article published on October 7, 2016.

What’s your favourite? Go into your local independent bookshop and get voting!

Launched in 2013, ‘Books Are My Bag’ is a slogan that has encompassed all manner of book promotion. Largely it is about protecting the livelihood of independent booksellers and promoting physical books within them as opposed to ebooks (which are almost exclusively sold through the US commercial behemoth that is Amazon).

Now the good people of the Booksellers Association have come up with a new reward scheme under the banner and they’ve given readers everywhere across the country the chance to decide their own favourites. So, no chummy literary critics, reviewers and authors gathered in a dark and smoky room deciding the fate of their friends…this new award scheme really is down to you, the reader, to proclaim the winners!

Announced on Thursday 6th October with voting cards and posters in the booksellers’ windows, voting for the BAMB Readers Awards will hope to engage booklovers with bookshops and the campaign either instore or online through to 24th November when the winners will be announced at a glamourous ceremony at Foyles, Charing Cross Road, London.

The following shortlists for five categories have been determined by booksellers and include some bestsellers from 2016 and some lesser known new titles which booksellers feel deserve a wider audience. Many of them have been featured in nb magazine and here on nudge over the year and any could make a perfect Christmas gift for your family and friends…


The Green Road by Anne Enright
Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter
The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley
The Muse by Jessie Burton
This Must Be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell
The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon


Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig
SPQR by Mary Beard
Landmarks by Robert Macfarlane
The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
It’s All in Your Head by Suzanne O’Sullivan


Fingers in the Sparkle Jar by Chris Packham
The Last Act of Love by Cathy Rentzenbrink
The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson
At the Existentialist Café by Sarah Bakewell
The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf
Alive, Alive Oh! by Diana Athill


One by Sarah Crossan
The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
Beetle Boy by MG Leonard
The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt
The Bear and the Piano by David Litchfield
The Detective Dog by Julia Donaldson


The Shadowkeeper by Abi Elphinstone
The Outrun by Amy Liptrot
The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley
The Vegetarian by Han Kang
The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon
My Name is Leon by Kit de Waal
The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney
Harmless Like You by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan


Don’t forget to vote – instore or online here.


As if that wasn’t enough excitement the Booksellers Association will then be holding the first Bookshop Day for the UK and Ireland on Saturday 8th October. Bookshops are being encouraged to host special parties, events and book-signings to mark the day and the start of the crucial autumn selling season. Bookshop Day will replace the Big Bookshop parties that booksellers were previously encouraged to hold in the run-up to Christmas.

As before, specially designed tote bags will be available while stocks last – award-winning designer Coralie Bickford-Smith has designed the collectors’ edition bag, the children’s bag features a Winnie-the-Pooh design from Egmont Publishing to celebrate his 90th anniversary and there is also an exclusive Irish bag designed by Fatti Burke.



So join in the fun by voting for your favourite books, joining in with #bookshopday on Twitter and more importantly by visiting your local independent bookshop.

Find out more about Books Are My Bag on their website


The Vanishing Futurist by Charlotte Hobson


The Wonder by Emma Donoghue

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