Love Your Bookshop Day in Australia Date in the current year: October 5, 2024

Love Your Bookshop Day in Australia Love Your Bookshop Day is observed in Australia on the first Saturday in October. It was created to celebrate bookshops around the country, highlight the benefits of local bookshops, and encourage people to read more and support brick-and-mortar bookshops.

Bookselling is one of the oldest trades; its roots can be traced back to ancient Greece and Rome. During the late Roman Republic, for example, it was fashionable among the wealthy to have a home library, and bookshops in Rome flourished. Since it was long before the invention of printing, Roman booksellers functioned as book publishers, copiers, and distributors.

The modern system of bookselling began to emerge soon after the introduction of the movable-type printing system around the 15th century. For several centuries, all bookstores were independently owned. Bookstore chains became widespread in the 20th century, and the advent of the Internet changed modern bookselling even further.

Today, book sales are dominated by big book distributors, and independent bookstores have found themselves under considerable competitive and financial pressure, which is a real shame because small, local bookshops matter. They meet the interests and needs of the local community, bring local readers together and act as community centers, contribute to local economy, and add to a city’s uniqueness.

Love Your Bookshop Day (LYBD) was launched by BookPeople, formerly known as the Australian Booksellers Association. BookPeople represents all Australian bookshops, ranging from small independent bookshops to chain bookstores and online retailers, but Love Your Bookshop Day specifically focuses on local bookshops and everything they do to promote reading.

Every year, BookPeople chooses a new theme for Love Your Bookshop Day. For example, the theme of LYBD 2023 was “Giving the Gift Imagination”, and celebratory events and activities focused on the ability of local bookshops to provide people with limitless portals to different worlds because that is what books are if you have a vivid enough imagination.

Although Love Your Bookshop Day originated in Australia, you can celebrate it regardless of where you live. You can give a shout out to your favorite independent bookstore on social media with the hashtags #LoveYourBookShop and #LYBD, purchase a book (or two, or half a dozen) from your local bookshop, keep track of the events your local bookshop holds and attend them to show your support, join the book club at your local bookshop, and encourage your friends to shop at independent bookstores.

But if you really want to make an impact and ensure that your local bookshop stays open, you should support it all the year round rather than just participate in Love Your Bookshop Day once a year. Most independent bookstores appreciate volunteer help, so if you have some time to spare, reach out to ask whether the staff of your local bookshop need assistance with events or managing their social media. If volunteering is not an option, that’s okay! The best way to support a bookshop is to spend your money there and encourage your friends to do the same.

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Love Your Bookshop Day, holidays in Australia, cultural observances, local bookshops, independent bookstores