The idea for Book Busking came to us two years ago. After a very busy Christmas Eve, late in the afternoon, a young boy decided he was going to spread the Christmas cheer by busking and that the front of our bookshop was the best place to do this. We have had some fantastic buskers out the front of our shop, in particular some very good carol singers. Unfortunately this young man’s instrument of choice was a violin which he promptly murdered. I’m not sure if this worked to our advantage by driving people into the shop to escape or our disadvantage by clearing the street. My bet is on the latter.
But the incident did get us all thinking. Why should musicians have all the fun? Why can’t book lovers occupy the same space as a busker and read aloud from their favourite book? The idea of Book Busking was born!
We couldn’t think of a more appropriate day for Book Busking than Indigenous Literacy Day. Pages & Pages is a big supporter of The Indigenous Literacy Foundation (ILF). Since the inception of Indigenous Literacy Day bookshops have been asked to donate a percentage of their takings from that day. But we have always wanted to give more. We launched Book Busking last year and raised over $3000 for ILF.
We are holding Book Busking on Indigenous Literacy Day again this year, Wednesday September 7, but we are also celebrating National Bookshop Day on Saturday August 20 and will be holding Book Busking then too.
I missed out on Book Busking last year (my second daughter was born) so I cannot wait for this year. Book Buskers have all booked a 15-minute time slot to busk and any gaps will filled by staff at Pages & Pages. I will definitely be the first to jump into the busker’s chair and already have my books for busking lined up. I think Children’s books work best read aloud so I will be busking from the collected works of Roald Dahl. First book off the rank will be THE ENORMOUS CROCODILE followed by THE TWITS. These were among my favourite Dahl books growing up and I love reading them aloud at home.
Time slots for Book Busking have booked out for Saturday morning (National Bookshop Day) by there are places left at lunch time and in the afternoon (there’s still plenty of spots left to book for Indigenous Literacy Day as well). You don’t have to busk though to be a part of Book Busking. Just turn up on the day and give the buskers your support (and some money for Indigenous Literacy!)
Hope to see you there!