National Buy a Book Day

Barbara Vey -- November 20th, 2008
Barack Obama
President-Elect Obama also writes books, so I’m sure he’s all for you going out and buying one or ten.

The other day I found Editorial Ass, a blog written by Moonrat, a self-described recovering editorial assistant.  While giving her take on the dismal book sales of October she offered up this suggestion:  

Buy a book this weekend.

Just buy one.

Buy your sister a book instead of a sweater for her birthday; buy your friend who can’t even make toast or boil water a beginner’s cookbook; buy your company’s receptionist a novel you liked because most people probably ignore him/her (it’s always a her, though, isn’t it?) and you’ll make his/her day.

Buy your holiday gifts now. Instead of a CD for your brother, buy him a book on his favorite recording artist.

Instead of going to the library this one week buy the book you were going to read–it might only be a difference of a couple of bucks in the end. One day this week, make a peanut butter sandwich, skip going out for lunch, and buy a paperback.

Got an anniversary? Skip chocolates; fiction is sexy.

Got a non-reading friend with a birthday? Buy them a book and tell them it’s high time they got over it. Or, more kindly, that you’re doing it to sponsor your own future writing career. Or blame me if you must; I can take it.

I think this is a great idea.  Kind of like the Great American Smoke Out, where one day everyone stops smoking, there can be a day where everyone buys a book.  Now this isn’t to say they can’t/shouldn’t buy books other days too, just special day where even people who don’t normally buy books make an effort to get out there and do it for the common good.  More to bring attention to the idea that books make great gifts (even for one’s self).

So, as I write this, Moonrat’s latest blog has her apologizing to a librarian who was upset about the part suggesting not going to the library one week.  Everyone knows I’m a huge library fan, but people need to lighten up.  You can still go to a library and buy a book in the same week.  Goodness knows, I’ve done it enough.  I have many librarian friends and I know that circulation counts, but without the publishing industry in business, there would be no new books to put in the libraries.

I’ve always given books as gifts (yes, the big joke in the family is that I read them first, but that way I can tell them how good the story is). 

Now take this idea for what it’s worth and give yourself permission to spend the money for the greater good. 

Bottom Line:  I’m going out today with my list and gift cards to buy, buy, buy and who knows, it may even be for you!

25 thoughts on “National Buy a Book Day

  1. Jusy

    Well I bought about 5 ebooks yesterday. Does that count? I will also visit my library this weekend as I have books due. Of course, I can never leave the library without borrowing a book.


    Gee, I hope Amazon counts too–I’ve got one order waiting for pub release (next Tues.) And another group I want that are due to be published Dec. 2. And allromanceebooks always has a new list out on Fridays…….

  3. Gina

    I’m ready to Buy a Book Day – I have my list and my B & N Coupon ready to go! “I’ve always given books as gifts (yes, the big joke in the family is that I read them first, but that way I can tell them how good the story is).” I passed that along to my friend as every year my Birthday present her is a Janet Evanovich Book – she releases her Plum series every June, coincidentally in time for my big day – and before I get it she ‘reads it to make sure it’s good’ :) – She’ll be happy to know you provide the same public service to your giftees lol

  4. Seressia

    Blogged about this myself–how much fun I had spending an hour in Barnes and Noble this past weekend, and how I planned to go back. Since they kindly sent me a coupon, I’ll definitely be there!


    I sure hope Amazon counts. Because I’m addicted to buying books to read on my new Kindle. (My sweetie has one, too, and Amazon allows six copies of a bought book to be downloaded on each account, which was a relief because we share a LOT of books and I didn’t want to have to buy a copy for each of us.) I did recently read that somewhere around 400,000 new titles were published last year and while a LOT of those ended up in my house (including the two from our President- elect), do we really need that many new books every year? Factor in the problem with returns, especially in a bad economy, and it’s no surprise publishing is in the worst shape I’ve seen it in since I sold my first book 26 years ago next week.

  6. Susan

    I love this idea. I love the smell of a bookstore and could easily do all my shopping there. Dusting off the credit card and on my way. I too will tell them Barbara Vey sent me!

  7. Missy Taylor

    I have a book buying addiction. In fact, if I’m having a bad day or bad week or going through a tough time… I buy a book. It makes me feel better to have a new book. I have books I haven’t read yet piled up all over my home so I probably won’t read the new book right away but something about buying one… it’s better than that new car smell.

  8. Betina Krahn

    I bought two books this week, but still have quite a few on my “to be bought” list. I think this “day” is a great idea, but we’re sort of preaching to the choir here. Most of the people mentioning they’ve bought books here would have bought them whether or not there was any sort of promotion. We’re all book people here! What we need is a way to reach those people who don’t automatically think of books as educational or leisure time activity. Once we bring MSN and Google and EBay and MySpace/Facebook on board (with notices on their home pages!)then we could begin to really make a difference!

  9. Barbara Vey

    Well, I did put it on Twitter, MySpace and Facebook. If everyone did it would reach a heck of a lot of people. Maybe we should actually make it an official day. I wonder how you get it on the calendars?

  10. Lee

    I’ve already been to my local bookstore three times this month for presents for a new baby, and for the upcoming Christmas season–I’m a book buyer and giver and have been for years! Great idea!

  11. lfamous

    I already got each of my kids a book at Costco. I usually just go to Amazon and place an order when I need something, but maybe I’ll go browsing this weekend. I can always find something I want to read!

  12. violet s

    Thanks Barbara for this great idea! How great to support booksellers for Christmas gifts etc.! I bought 4 people a gift card from my local bookstore to get them into the store & hopefully begin a lifelong love of books!

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