Black Friday UK 2015: Civilised Saturday is the perfect remedy to bargain bonanza

Tim Walker
The UK's Oldest Book Fair, The London International Antiquarian Book Fair
Booksellers across the UK will take part in Civilised Saturday (Source: Getty)

US import of Black Friday is upon us again, and it is almost unimaginable to think that Asda (Walmart) have, as a brand, decided it's far too toxic for them to take part.

Within consumer consciousness, Black Friday has come to represent a day to grab a bargain, to get the best deal that you can and to personally profit from retailers who are just chasing a sale at any cost.

That is the innate attraction of the day, and it means that both you and I will probably have a little look at what sort of bargains are on offer.

Our bookshops are already crammed with the best books of the year, together with thousands of the top back list titles.

Read more: Currys PC World has record-breaking start to Black Friday

We could slash prices, and some booksellers will, but actually most bookshops are already competitive on the big titles this autumn, and I’m not sure that offering a huge discount on "how to look after you guinea pig" is going to make any of us millionaires.

So with this in mind, we thought how can a bookshop use Black Friday to its best advantage?

As an antidote to the pain of black Friday, booksellers up and down the country will be celebrating Civilised Saturday this weekend.

You can be served canapés and prosecco by a butler in Crickhowell, be regaled by poets in Walsall, take cocktails in Edinburgh or afternoon tea in Dulwich.

It is the perfect opportunity for bookshops to show off what they do best, to help people find books that they love and books that they will want to give as gifts this Christmas.

Read more: What is Black Friday and where did it come from?

The care, thought and enjoyment that goes into choosing a book either to read yourself or to give as a gift is what makes visiting a bookshop so special.

A good bookshop is great at letting you discover books, not only by stocking a well orchestrated range, but also by personal recommendation; by finding the right book for each and every customer and the right customer for each and every book.

This is what we do every single day of the year and it is also the very antithesis to the pile it high, sell it cheap, give it away culture of Black Friday.

So after the madness of Black Friday, visit a bookshop on Civilised Saturday, take time, enjoy the experience, discover fabulous new books and restore a little of your faith in human nature and shopping on the High Street.

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

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