Yesterday, in a joint statement (No Christmas Without Books) with Intergraf and the Federation of European Publishers, the European & International Booksellers Federation noted that the holiday season "represents an important part of the yearly revenues for many businesses, printers, publishers and booksellers included."
Sales data aside, it's also always been fun and exhausting, in a singularly intense way, to work in a bookshop this time of year. While Covid Grinch and Supply Chain Scrooge have complicated things terribly, here's hoping the holiday season adrenaline rush is still there for frontline booksellers.
Maybe it's just nostalgia. I haven't been on the sales floor in a long time, yet I still feel the intensity building. And lately I've found myself compensating by collecting holiday season social media posts from bookshops around the world, just to get in the spirit.
Since this is the giving time of year, I'll share a sampling from my brief but lively little tour, beginning with a wonderful video on the website of the incomparable Livraria Lello in Porto, Portugal. From there, we travel (in alphabetical order by country because the connecting flights would be impossible to figure out) to:
The Sun Bookshop, Yarraville: "In line with festive tradition we are running our annual WIN THE WINDOW competition extravaganza. Win everything in our Christmas window (excluding shelving and glass) and become the proud owner of 2021's top titles!!"
Luddites Books & Wine, Antwerp: "The most wonderful time of the year is nearly upon us! To help you in the quest for the perfect present or Christmas card, some of our favorite cartoonists created a Christmas Box filled with the best cards a person could hope to send or receive."
Livraria Cultura, São Paulo: "A new Culture is emerging! This Christmas, our gift will be a brand new store! A bookshop with lots of news and full of amazing experiences."
Librairie Gallimard, Montreal: "It's Christmas at the library!! A big thank you to Barbara Ottevaere, ceramic artist, for this delicate and poetic showcase in which they nest, as fragments of our lives spent together, her little women and these little men... To allow you to find serenity your gifts for you and your loved ones, we are opening more starting this week!
Next Chapter, Grand Cayman: "Our beautiful Christmas decor and Christmas cards."
Bog & idé (multiple stores): "CHRISTMAS GIFT HITS FOR THE BOOK LOVERS. What books do others buy as Christmas presents for those they care about? You will find the answer here!"
Tales on Moon Lane, Ramsgate: "Huge thanks to Children's illustrator and author Yuval Zommer @yuvalzommer for visiting us this week to create the most magical, festive and colorful aurora borealis (northern lights) Christmas window we could have possibly imagined."
Shakespeare and Company, Paris: "Our bundles make the perfect Christmas gifts for the book worm in your life. We have some special Christmas ones up but check out the link in our bio or story to see the full selection."
Dussmann das KulturKaufhaus, Berlin: "Thank you! Thank you! Thanks! Thank you! Thank you! The motto of our Christmas campaign our colleague and DruckManufaktur-leader Elisabeth also picked up on her workshop space in the art book department--and the result can really be seen! The words of the mobiles were printed in wooden letters on our vintage printing press, the star is a stamp carved and hand printed by Elisabeth."
Eklektos Books, Elounda, Crete: "Ho Ho Ho!"
KoolSkool--The Book Store, Gurugram: " 'Tis the season to be jolly! We're making this joyous time special with a touch of bookish magic through our curated range of Christmas books... get ready to fill your socks with books!"
Philip's Bookshop, Mallow: "We are delighted to feature in this fabulous video made by Cork County Council highlighting the importance of shopping local this Christmas."
Moderna--Le Librerie San Donà, Veneto: "[Y]ou can feel the Christmas atmosphere in the air!"
Sangster's Book Store, Kingston: "Educational Gifting is A Must This Christmas! No doubt about it kids learn faster once they are having fun."
Soma Nami, Nairobi: "It's a good day as any to remind you that we are your plug for all your bookish gifts this season! And we'll let you in on a lil' open secret--book lovers love book gifts. If it comes in a box with amazing goodies inside, it's a home run for you my friend!!"
Librairie les insolites Tanger, Tangier: "Art, books, notebooks, music (good, preferably), gift ideas, a shining tree, good mood = cocktail the insolities! Welcome you all!"
Boekhandel Van Piere, Eindhoven: "Een tip van Sinterklaas."
Wardini Books, Havelock North: "Little pixie Catt has bust out the jingling advent box because.... it's 1st December! Featured today, books for readers of about 9 or 10 plus by our very own Gareth Ward!"
Massolit Books & Cafe, Kraków: "Here is our offer for Xmas."
Cărturești Carusel, Bucharest: "The Cartoon Fair awaits you this year with sweet ginger smell, Winter Cocktail flavor and with images from the Far Land of Santa."
Golden Hare Books, Edinburgh: "Oh, the weather outside is frightful.... But guess what? Our fire truly is delightful, and so is the rest of the shop!... See you soon."
Woods in the Books: "Season's Readings!"
The Bookshop, Marbella: "It's that time of year. We are here to help you chose the perfect Christmas gift and we can wrap it and send it for you. Drop into the store or order online."
Editions La Joie de lire, Geneva: "Enjoy the joys of Advent with La Joie de lire! Until December 25, discover every day an animal from our catalog. Will you be able to recognize what story it belongs to?"
Nhà Sách Hải An, Ho Chi Minh City: "Christmas... is the most loved and awaited holiday season of the year. It's an opportunity for the whole family to gather together. It is to give each other love, peace and the sweetest, warmest gifts."
The Mold Bookshop, Mold: "Books make the perfect Christmas gift."