Why Come to a Book Shop event
I recently read a Tweet where the person said that they didn't go to bookshop events that they are interested in because they are too intimidating or seem a bit 'high brow'. This made me pretty sad. As a bookseller and event organiser, I don't want anyone to feel that an event they are interested in is not for them. A lot of work goes into putting events on, both by the host and the author and their publisher so it's such a shame to have people miss out.
I thought I'd explain a little bit about how we work our events here, so that perhaps it isn't so intimidating and we can encourage more people to come along and give our events a try.
First and most importantly of all, I promise that we are a friendly bunch here at the bookshop. Whoever you are, whatever your interests, or reading preferences, we absolutely will not judge. Everyone is welcome here.
All of our events are listed on our website here, so that you can book online from wherever you are. If you prefer to pop into the bookshop and book your tickets in person you can also do that. All we need is your name and an email address to send the booking confirmation to. It's really helpful to us if you can book in advance so that we can plan seating arrangements. We have to move a fair amount of furniture around to make room and we want to make sure there's enough space for everyone to be comfortable. Seating is unreserved though, so there's no pressure for where you should sit - just pick a spot where you will be comfortable when you arrive on the day.
When you arrive at an event, just head to the front desk and let us know you're here. All we need is your name, so don't worry too much if you don't have your emailed confirmation to hand. This is so that we can make sure everyone we are expecting has arrived before we start the event.
If there is space, we will happily allow people to buy tickets on the door.
Once you are here, help yourself to a free hot drink and settle yourself in.
Most of our events will follow a similar format - the author or speaker will be introduced, talk or be interviewed for a short period of time and then there will be time for some audience questions. If you have anything that you'd like to ask the author but aren't sure you want to in front of other people, you can let a staff member know the question beforehand and they can ask it for you or alternatively, speak to the author individually afterwards. Remember, no matter who the author is, they are only human too. They will more than likely have some event nerves and anxiety, and will be friendly and encouraging to anyone who comes to see them.
Once the questions are over, there will usually be time to have books signed by the author and some individual conversations if you wish. There is no obligation to stay for this part if you don't want to though. You can also shop for more books or buy copies of the authors book if you haven't already.
What I particularly love about bookshop events, is the opportunity to talk to the author of a book you really loved and related to as well as talking to other fans of their work. There's a very specific feeling of community that comes with those shared discussions. But if you haven't already read the book that's no reason not to come along if you are interested in the subject - there is no expectation whatsoever for you to have read anything before the event. The author will usually give a great insight into the book at the event and you then hopefully will come away enthused to get stuck into it when you get home.
If you've been to an event and for some reason not enjoyed it, it's so important to feed that back to the host bookshop. We want it to be an enjoyable experience, so anything that we can do to improve will be welcomed. If the subject matter wasn't quite what you expected, please don't be put off and do try some more events to see if they are more your thing. You might just find something you really love!
I hope that this has convinced you that bookshop events are worth a try - if you have any questions about any of our events or how things work please do get in touch. We'd be more than happy to help.