Welcome to the first post of the new Bookablog. We have a fantastic summer of book related fun ahead. Our new blog has been in the planning for several months now. We cannot wait to share with you all the exciting news we have. We are also introducing a great little competition for you as we launch our blog. Read on to find out more.

From our first stages of planning Bookablog, we had a really clear message we wanted to share with you: how important you, our customers are. This blog is for you, whether you have been reading with us from the start, or only recently discovered us. With all the other options out there, you chose to come into an independent bookshop and buy your books from us. That matters.

As well as keeping you up to date with all news Booka related, we want to reward you for your loyalty with a really interesting blog you can enjoy and be proud to subscribe to. Just in the next few weeks, we will be bringing you everything you would expect from a bookshop blog: reviews, interviews, holiday reading guides, opinion pieces, as well as hopefully a few surprises along the way.

From the 14th – 22nd June, Booka will be celebrating Independent Bookshop Week. This brilliant annual event has now been running for 12 years in the UK. It gives all independent bookshops like us a chance to celebrate with our customers. Bookshops were independent long before any chains came along. After thousands of years of church and state control over the written word, the invention of the printing press in the fifteenth century suddenly gave booksellers the opportunity to print and sell what they wanted. Booksellers could break free from constraint and sell new ideas, challenging the very fabric of society. That revolutionary message should still be strong in all good independent bookshops today. We are certainly very proud to be independent and able to choose the books we believe will make you happy, make you think and keep you reading on.

We have been planning Independent Bookshop Week for many months now. We are proud to have a fantastic range of events for children, readers, crafters, and even you budding writers. There is something for everyone whatever your budget. The daily events range from £20 to completely free. For some events, the cost includes whichever exciting book is being discussed. There are opportunities to meet the fabulous writers and get your new book signed. Follow the link at the end for all the details and booking options.

We are also particularly excited to welcome a ‘Public Typewriter’ into our shop for Independent Book Week. Yes, this is exactly what it sounds like. ‘Public Typewriters’ are left temptingly in community spaces, waiting to be typed on. We will be encouraging as many of you as possible to spend a few moments with our typewriter. Share your thoughts about what reading means to you, your stories about Booka, funny, uplifting, or just important to you. You do not even have to leave your name; your story is enough. We are really looking forward to reading your messages. Look out for a future blog post revealing some of our favourite anecdotes and how your messages might eventually find their way into a book of their own.

We will be reviewing all the events of Independent Bookshop Week as they happen on Bookablog and speaking to some of the amazing writers who are joining us. Even if you cannot make it to one of our events, we hope that you will have time to pop in just for a browse, leave us a message on the typewriter, and enjoy the celebration with us. We are always happy to see you.

In October, Booka will be celebrating its 10th birthday. We have exciting celebrations planned which we will be sharing with you closer to the time. It is incredible to think about the changes that have taken place since opening in 2009. We will be sharing the story of our ten-year journey. We know that some of you have been with us since the start and many have joined us along the way. We will want to hear your stories too, as you are such a central part of our success. This will start with the public typewriter next week, but it does not end there. Look out nearer the time for more opportunities to share your Booka memories with us. If you want to tell us your story, we definitely want to hear it.

Now, to that competition we promised! We want all our Booka customers to feel part of the blog experience. We are still looking for a great tagline for our blog; something punchy and clever, that really gets us and tells everyone what to expect. The punchier the better, but certainly no more than 10 words! Email your ideas to us at mail@bookabookshop.co.uk by the end of Independent Bookshop Week (that’s the 22nd of June for those not paying attention!). The winner will not only get their tagline immortalised on Bookablog, but will also get a £10 Booka voucher to spend in store as a thank you.

You can find information on all our upcoming events including Independent Bookshop Week here. Don’t delay if you see something you like, as many of our events sold out last year. If you are reading this and have not paid us a visit yet, we would love to see you. We are open seven days a week, have two floors of books to explore and a café with fantastic cakes.

Thank you for reading our first post on Bookablog. This is a new adventure for us as we approach our tenth year. We have much to celebrate, and lots of great news to share with you over the coming weeks and months. We have always wanted to be more than just a bookshop to our customers. We hope that our new blog will be entertaining, informative and help us to get to know you a bit better (and vice versa!). Hope to see you in Booka soon!