Look out, it’s a bookshop blog! It’s been far too long we know. I can assure you that we are completely embarrassed at how lacking we’ve been in the blogs department. Suffice to say, we have been a tad busy of late. But I hope to remedy that in these quieter afternoon hours of what’s been a nicely bustling summer’s day.
So what have we been up to? Just so many things to tell you. To say the life of a bookseller is varied would be understatement. Let me fill you in a bit.
March was all about World Book Day. I say “day” but turns out one day isn’t quite enough. World Book Day for us lasted two weeks! Children and Teachers from schools across Norfolk paid us a visit over the fortnight for story telling sessions, creative workshops and of course to choose a book from this years World Book Day selection. On the day itself it would have been remiss of us booksellers not to dress for the occasion. Leanne attempting to descend the stairs in an inflatable caterpillar costume was a particular highlight.
Oh, just one other small thing that happened in March, we may have mentioned before. The British Book Awards 2022 announced the regional winners for Independent Bookshop of the Year. Guess who the winner was for the East of England? That we were in-the-running for the title was incredible enough, we were one of 9 Indie Bookshops to be selected from 63. We would have to wait until the Nibbies Awards in May to see if we were to be crowned Indie Bookshop of the Year for the UK and Ireland.
April saw a day of fundraising for the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, book launches, and a little trip up that London for Leanne and Dan at the London Book fair. Then Easter, of course, with our usual offering of lovely events.
May is always a brilliant month for Norwich, the Norfolk and Norwich Festival taking centre stage. How lucky were we to have an installation in our windows by artist and Designer Florence Poppy as part of the festival? Then it was back up that London for Leanne and Dan for the heady heights of the Nibbies Awards, hobnobbing with the like of Julia Donaldson no less. Well, she sat on a table near them at least. So excited were we at winning the regional accolade of Best Bookshop, that loosing out on the very top spot did nothing to dampen our spirits whatsoever. A big congratulations goes winner The Bookery in Crediton!
On to June! How has half the year nearly slipped by already? Two more window installations, one from the talented Anna Terreros-Martin to celebrate her new book The Friendly Mammoth. The other window was dressed by Young Norfolk Arts with Bitesized Poetry Postcards celebrating Norwich. Leanne attended a school Pop-up-Pride-Picnic, and a dinosaur came to live in our shop
The summer hols are here and with them comes the countdown to Bookbugs and Dragon Tales’ 3rd birthday. Can you believe it? how are we three already? What an eventful first three years. When you sit back and take stock of everything, the lows of the pandemic, the highs of the awards we’ve gratefully accepted albeit with a good dose of imposter syndrome. There’s been the days when we’ve hardly seen a soul and days where you can’t move in the shop for customers. We’ve been to parliament and swanky dinners, and filled school libraries with beautiful new books. We’ve run workshops and classes and our very well attended book club. We’ve laughed and cried with you, our wonderful customers. We’ve held your new babies and watched them grow. We’ve even witnessed one or two first steps in our very own shop.
Most importantly, we’ve placed the magic of books in the hands of our customers, big and small, and helped to make reading accessible to all. Hopefully while putting a smile on your faces with our silly shenanigans. We are so proud of what we do and forever thankful that Norwich, our cherished city, has embraced us so readily as part of the community. So we would like to say a wholehearted thank you to all our customers and friends. You make Bookbugs and Dragon Tales possible and we love you.
Anyway, enough of that soppiness before I have a little cry. There are some exiting matters at hand that I want to talk about with you. I may have mentioned that we have a birthday coming up. I’m sure you would expect nothing less of us than a week-long festival of celebrations? Good, because that is exactly what we’re doing!