The Literary Club

Independent Bookshop Week 2021 – what it is and how to get involved.

The Independent Bookshop Week 2021 will take place from Saturday 19th June – Saturday 26th June. Its aim is to celebrate the wonderful indie bookshops scattered around the UK and Ireland.

Part of Books Are My Bag, a nationwide campaign run by the Booksellers Association, Independent Bookshop Week (IBW) is an opportunity for us to celebrate our hard-working and deeply treasured independent bookshops.

Any booklover knows the feeling: you walk through the door to find shelves of coloured spines peeking out at you from every direction. Lined neatly on shelves or scattered on coffee tables, stacked from the floor, or packed snug in boxes, entering an independent bookstore feels like greeting an old friend. Nowhere else can you pick up a new favourite while also supporting local businesses and joining a community of passionate readers.


Independent Book Week wants to promote everything that is unique to independent bookshops – the character, the atmosphere, and the heart that bigger chain stores lack. As well as providing resources for local indie bookshops to get involved, IBW host the Indie Book Awards as part of the festivities; the winner of last years’ Indie Fiction Book Award, Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo, went on to become one of the most highly acclaimed novels of 2020. (You can check out this years’ shortlist here.

So, how can you get involved?

Expect to see lots of events going on in your local indies – from poetry readings to face painting, indie bookshops have been given the opportunity to let their imaginations run wild. Multi-award winning bookshop Book-ish in Crickhowell, Wales for example has twinned with Atlantic Books to offer interactive online author events and giveaways; while Rocketship Books in Salisbury is hosting a ‘Find the Duck’ trail (inspired by Taplin and Taylor-Kielty’s popular Poppy and Sam series) around the town.

As has come to be familiar in 2021, a lot of bookshops have opted to host online events – meaning that accessing amazing author talks and readings will be even easier.

You can find out more and search for Indie Bookstores events in your local community here.
Keep up to date with the campaign by following @booksaremybag and #IndieBookshopWeek.

You can also support the work of Books are My Bag by visiting their website to see how they celebrate our wonderful independent bookstores year-round.