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Tales from the Bookseller #6

One of my absolute favourite things about being a bookseller is without a doubt World Book Day. It’s something that I am hugely passionate about and is something that I truly get behind and support. 

Getting kids interested in books and in reading is ultimately why I do what I do. It’s that simple. As far as I’m concerned, books are life. Books are everything. And I’ve got one job to do, which is to spread the love of books as much as I can far and wide. And it’s a job that I think I do with gusto. 

Having excited kids come into the shop with their voucher to exchange for one of the WBD books is a special thing. The concentration on their faces as they try to decide which title they want is also a special thing. 

The classes that descend on the shop, dressed as their favourite book characters, animatedly chatting and laughing and telling me that my WBD costume is not technically from a book. That too is a special thing.

Here in Ye Olde Shoppe, I like to think that every day is World Book Day. And my passion isn’t only evident on one day of the year.

I have so many young book lovers whose eyes light up every time they step inside the shop. Who ask me for recommendations, and about books I have read. Who will let me stand there and waffle at them about something that I really feel is for them and that they should read. Who come in reading books. Who leave reading the book that mere seconds ago was on the shelf. 

I hear about my young book lovers who have 3 or 4 books on the go at the same time. Those that fall asleep face down on top of a book. Who talk about books to their friends. Who are already sharing the love of books and of reading. That come to my kids book group and that meet authors. 

On the flip side, I also meet a lot of kids who haven’t grown up surrounded by books,that have never been into a bookshop. Who only read the books they are ‘forced’ to at school. Who don’t enjoy them. Who are simply not interested in books.

And that is where World Book Day really comes into its own. It makes books that little bit more accessible to so many more kids. It's a big part of the school year too. Authors visit schools, and school classes visit bookshops. It gets them joining in and having fun. It gets them talking about books and stories and characters to their parents and families. It gets them dragging mum or dad into a bookshop at the weekend. And then BAM! They find that one book that changes everything. And before you know it, you’ve got readers for life. 

Andrew Marsh

The Dial Lane booksellers provide books for our audiences at SBL events.

More about the Ipswich shop here:


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