About the campaign

BOOKS ARE MY BAG is a nationwide campaign to celebrate bookshops. This collaboration between publishers, bookshops and authors is the biggest ever promotion of bookshops. For many people bookshops conjure fond images of book readings, in-store cafes and delight at the discovery of a new author.  And in fact, 56% of all book buying decisions are made by consumers in a bookshop - but we must continue to celebrate - and shop in! - our fabulous high street bookshops.

The Campaign
BOOKS ARE MY BAG, celebrates books and bookshops and the simple truth that bookshops do more physically to let people enjoy their passion for books. Booksellers, publishers and authors have come together with the country’s most iconic advertising agency, M&C Saatchi, to create a simple but universal message about the joy of books and bookshops. BOOKS ARE MY BAG is the biggest-ever campaign for bookshops and is a joint Booksellers Association/Publishers Association initiative, created pro bono by the advertising agency, M & C Saatchi.

BOOKS ARE MY BAG has the support of all of the country’s major trade publishers and the Publishers Association. BOOKS ARE MY BAG celebrates the vital role that booksellers play in engaging readers. Many publishers have already contributed by making some of their high-profile authors available for the photo campaign, by supporting BOOKS ARE MY BAG financially, or both. To find out how you can be part of BOOKS ARE MY BAG contact: 

Bookshops are at the very core of BOOKS ARE MY BAG. The high street campaign uses your prize asset – your customers – as walking advertisements for bookshops.

BOOKS ARE MY BAG also celebrates the vital role that authors play in supporting bookshops. The Campaign welcomes authors into bookshops and allows authors to express their love for their own local bookshop. 

    Bookshop Day 2018 

    We're delighted to have a limited-edition bag designed by Sir Peter Blake and a Philip Pullman children's bag, both available in bookshops on Bookshop Day, Saturday 6th October. 

    Peter Blake bag

    Philip Pullman bag


    BAMB Readers Awards 2017


    How to Stop Time by Matt Haig 

    This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay

    The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

    MIDDLE GRADE (7-11):
    Letters from the Lighthouse by Emma Carroll

    YA (12-18):
    The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

    Kate Tempest for The Bricks that Built the Houses

    The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris

    This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay


    Bookshop Day 2017 

    Orla Kiely bag Axel Scheffler bag

    Iconic designer, Orla Kiely, was revealed as the designer of the limited-edition Books Are My Bag tote bag. Award-winning Gruffalo children’s illustrator, Axel Scheffler, was announced as the children’s bag designer. 

    Bookshop Day, which launched in 2016 and led to one of UK’s biggest weeks of bookshop sales of the year, returned on Saturday 7th October. 


    BAMB Readers Awards 2016

    We launched the first-ever Books Are My Bag Readers Awards, sponsored by National Book Tokens in October 2016 with the winners ceremony taking place at Foyles, Charing Cross Road in November.


    Grief is the Thing with Feathers by Max Porter  

    Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig

    The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson

    The Detective Dog by Julia Donaldson and Sara Ogilvie

    Joanna Cannon for The Trouble with Goats and Sheep

    The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry and designed by Pete Dyer

    The Good Immigrant edited by Nikesh Shukla


    Bookshop Day 2016

     Welsh bag
    The campaign dates for 2016:
    Thursday 6th October = press launch
    Saturday 8th October = Bookshop Day

    Award-winning designer Coralie Bickford-Smith designed the collectors' edition bag and our children's bag will featured a Winnie-the-Pooh design from Egmont Publishing to celebrate his 90th anniversary. We also launched an exclusive Irish bag designed by Fatti Burke and a Welsh bag which translates to 'seas and mountains of books'. 

    The BFG is my Bag 2016

    We worked with Quentin Blake, Penguin Random House and the Roald Dahl Literary Estate to create these whoopsy wiffling bags for bookshops. To coincide with the BFG movie starring Mark Rylance and directed by Steven Spielberg, the bags were available from bookshops on movie-release day, July 22nd.


    The Bard is my Bag 2016

    Shakespeare Saturday took place 23rd April and celebrated the life of Shakespeare on the 400th anniversary of his death. There was coverage and celebration throughout the year; from the BBC, the RSC, the Globe, in schools, and of course, in bookshops. Availa

    Up for grabs on the day was the exclusive 'The Bard is my Bag' tote bag which were available from bookshops.


    Campaign 2015


    The 2015 campaign took place Thursday 8th October, Super Thursday and finished on Saturday 10th October.

    Award-winning artist Grayson Perry designed the collectors' edition Books Are My Bag bag and we had a wonderful children's bag designed by author and creator of the Charlie & Lola books, Lauren Child (Hachette Children's Books). 


    Campaign 2014


    The 2014 campaign launched on Thursday 9th October, Super Thursday in the publishing calendar and finished on Saturday 11th October with Big Bookshop Parties. Award-winning artist Tracey Emin designed the limited-edition Books Are My Bag tote bag, available in both independent and chain bookshops. Like 2013, Books Are My Bag had a lot of support from authors and celebrities.


    Campaign 2013

    The 2013 campaign took place on Saturday 14th September and ran through until Christmas. Over 150 well-known book lovers were photographed holding the iconic BAMB bag, and the social media campaign connected thousands of book lovers to bookshops.