For many, this Thursday marks the start of Christmas shopping. It’s Super Thursday, the day of release for most books in the running to becoming Christmas bestsellers. Haven’t heard of Super Thursday before? It’s no surprise, as the day was only given its label recently, after the editor of the Bookseller, Philip Jones, noticed the ‘Thursdays-in-October trend in 2008’. It is a ‘new phenomenon’, as publishers and booksellers jump on the success of other named days within retail like ‘Black Friday’, in the hope that a buzz will form around the day and people will rush to the bookshops.
Super Thursday this year sees the release of books like Great British Bake Off: Christmas, the new Jacqueline Wilson novel, and an assortment of hardback autobiographies, including So Anyway… by John Cleese. Sense a pattern? All of these books make for perfect gifts, and there seems to be at least one new release to suit everyone.
For the bookshop, Super Thursday is a great occurrence. Tim Walker, the president of the Booksellers Association, ‘is expecting queues outside his family’s bookshop’. Bookshops hope that, because the drop is being marketed as a sort of retail event, consumers might visit actual shops in order to look at displays, browse, and pick up books, rather than taking their custom to Amazon.
Hopefully this year, as the Books Are My Bag campaign coincides with Super Thursday, bookshops will do much trade, and will be a place of real celebration and enjoyment this weekend. If you’re planning a trip to a bookshop on Thursday it’s well worth finding out if your local store has any events on, as many shops have signings planned for Thursday evening.
Check back here on Sunday, as for this week’s ‘Sunday wishlist’, I will be compiling a Christmas gift guide out of the Super Thursday releases.