In 2017, the staff at The Book Hive bookshop in Norwich read some research from The Reading Agency. It revealed that around two-thirds of people want to read more, with 59% saying they turn to a book in times of stress, anxiety, and illness. But sadly, 48% say they are simply too busy, or have too much of a hectic lifestyle, to read. The reason people want to read… is the reason they can’t read!
So The Book Hive decided to try and find a way to give Norwich locals the space and time to find solace in books. Together with the team from Dog-Ear (our self-initiated publication), they came up with the idea of weekly post-work quiet ‘detox reading’ sessions called ‘Page Against The Machine’. The idea is for people to treat reading like a practice – just like you’d commit to regular meditation sessions, yoga lessons, or a trip to the gym.
We went on to help The Book Hive by designing promotional posters and leaflets for the event, as well as assets to be used across Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. Everything worked within The Book Hive’s (and Dog-Ear’s) brand identity. The colour palette and typography strived for something simple, striking but calm.
At launch, the initiative gained coverage in local and industry press, and was even discussed on the BBC Radio Norfolk breakfast show. The idea received wide-spread praise on social media from publishers, literary consultants and readers. It was a key element in the decision to award the Book Hive ‘Best Bookshop in the East of England 2018’, and both the initiative (and its branding) have been discussed at The Bookseller’s Network conference.
Importantly, since launch, the events have been well-attended by a diverse range of people – and, as a bonus, have led to an increase in weekly book sales for the shop.