It’s Black Friday, which can only mean one thing; absolute chaos in the shops as bargain-hunters swarm in search of cheap electronics, fashion, and beauty deals.
However, for those of us who hate crowds/shopping/queues/all of the aforementioned, don’t despair; bookshops across the country are hosting a cosy alternative.
Civilised Saturday – yes, it has a name – was devised by the Booksellers’ Association as an antidote to Black Friday. This year, they're inviting bookworms to curl up in their stores with a mince pie and a book.
Speaking to Bedford Today, Waterstones manager Kay Duffy said: “Civilised Saturday works well for bookshops, which should be a haven of calm during the craziness of the run-up to Christmas. We want to encourage people to visit their local high street, and we will have our own selection of books at half price.”
So far, so awesome – but the deal is even sweeter when you realise that The Great British Bake Off’s Mary Berry is on board with the event. In fact, some lucky fans will even get the chance to meet the Queen of Bakes, as she’s going to be attending two of her favourite bookshops on the day.
That’s right; Mary will be signing copies of her new book, Mary Berry’s Family Sunday Lunches, at The Chorleywood Bookshop in Herfordshire. Which means that, yes, the bookshop will also be offering extremely civilised refreshments, in order to meet her impeccably high standards.
She will also be popping to Gerrards Cross Bookshop in Buckinghamshire for a signing at 12:45pm.
According to The Bookseller, there are plenty of other bookstores offering unique events for Civilised Saturday.
“Wenlock Books in Shropshire is hosting a hygge-inspired Civilised Saturday centred around cosiness, warmth and relaxed Christmas shopping,” they explain on their site.
“Picaresque Books & Galerie in Fantoosh is also joining in with the hygge theme, offering mince pies, chocolate and mulled wine, as well as an orchestral ensemble to create a relaxed and entertaining environment for shoppers.”
There’s also a bookstore in Bath which will see a celebrated florist leaving pressed flowers between the pages of books for customers to find.
Make sure to check the list of all the Civilised Saturday events taking place near you – it could be the perfect way to unwind this weekend (especially if you’re adrenaline is still up from chasing down those Black Friday bargains).