Bookshops inviting families to join in the fun of Independent Bookshop Week as Lee-on-the-Solent store set to transform street into Diagon Alley

BOOKSELLERS across the Portsmouth area are ready to mark a national celebratory week highlighting independent bookshops.

Thursday, 17th June 2021, 2:56 pm
Updated Thursday, 17th June 2021, 3:10 pm

One shop owner is promising an ‘action-packed week’ as others invite book lovers along to join in the fun.

Events will be taking place at two local stores as part of Independent Bookshop Week, which will take place from June 19 to 26 and is organised by the Booksellers Association.

Pigeon Books in Southsea will be marking the occasion on Saturday, June 19, which is also the store’s first birthday.

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Mel and Phil Davies opened their book shop Pigeon Books in Albert Road, on Monday, June 15 in 2020. Picture: Sarah Standing (230620-483)
Mel and Phil Davies opened their book shop Pigeon Books in Albert Road, on Monday, June 15 in 2020. Picture: Sarah Standing (230620-483)

Open from 10am, the bookshop will be having a small, socially-distanced party.

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Phil Davies who owns the shop along with his wife Mel, said: ‘We’ll be sticking to the same social distancing measures we’ve been using until now, so two people or households in at a time to make sure there’s enough space.

‘We’ll have some free £5 National Book Tokens to give away with every purchase on the day, as well as some other little gifts and freebies from the Bookseller’s Association.

Pigeon Books, Southsea

‘I’ll be making sure the shelves are well-stocked for the day, and we now have a range of non-book gifts available too.’

The Book Shop in Lee-on-the-Solent has a week of activities planned, including a big Harry Potter book night which will see the High Street transformed into Diagon Alley.

Sarah Veal, shop owner, said: ‘We’ll have a Dr Seuss day on Saturday, we’ll have our activities tables out front with arts and crafts, board games. When families are finished, they clear the table and we replenish it with new sanitised activities.

‘We’ve got author Jackie Green in on Monday, she’s going to do a book signing.

‘Tuesday we have Mia Emilie with her third book, she’ll do a little launch and a book signing.

‘Thursday we’re going to turn the high street into Diagon Alley for the Harry Potter book night.

‘On Friday we’ve got another book signing with Christine Lawrence.

‘It’ll be an action-packed week.’

The Harry Potter book night on Thursday, June 24, will have two sessions - one session starting at 4.30pm for ages six and over, and the second at 6.30pm for ages 10 plus.

The Hayling Island Bookshop will be holding a book sale with special offers and author displays to encourage children’s reading.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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