I've blogged about the Blackwell's Giving Tree for the past two years, and had to blog about it again this year, as it's so lovely. Edinburgh and Oxford branches of Blackwell's (and possibly others, too!), team up with local children's charities to give disadvantaged children books for Christmas. You can find their Christmas tree in-store, with tags hanging on with with notes such as 'A five year old girl would like a book about princesses,' or 'A thirteen year old girl who cares for her mother would like a book that's easy to read.'
You pick a book suitable for one of these tags (if you're stuck, the staff will be happy to help); then pay for it. Blackwell's wrap it all up, and make sure it reaches the child in time for Christmas.
I spent the afternoon at Blackwell's in Oxford yesterday, researching for The Bookshop Book, and Becky (the manager) and I agreed that not only is it a wonderful project, but it's a way for all of us to be booksellers, and pass on the books that we love. I picked 'The Ice Bear' by Jackie Morris, and will ring up the Edinburgh branch later to buy one there, too.
If you'd like to contribute, you don't have to go into the store, you can call the Oxford branch 01865 792 792: or the Edinburgh branch 0131 622 8222: and pick a book, and pay for it over the phone.
Side Note: I've had a lot of requests to do a Christmas gift guide for books on the blog, with recommendations for different ages. So, I'm working on that, and it'll be going up this week.
As for The Bookshop Book - I'm starting to reach out to bookshops all over the world, to chat with them. I'll be doing that over the next few months. If you're a bookseller and would like to get in touch with me about your bookshop, then please drop me an email. :) x