Festival Time Again

It’s that time of year again when the literary great and good descend on Christ Church College for the annual Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival for nine days of debate, discussion and bookselling.

In its twelfth year now the Festival is firmly established in the literary calendar and has grown from a very small programme to where it is today – over 400 author events at fifteen different locations throughout Oxford.

For Blackwell’s it is a key date in our calendar and a huge undertaking for us in terms of the resource required to go from this;                                        to this;


Our set up takes two and a half days and requires a significant degree of precision to ensure that the correct books are going to the correct location for the correct time (we sell books at each of the Festival venues, not just from the Marquee).

The first day proper is always a nerve tingling time for all of us when the first customers walk through the door at 9am, but once the tills start ringing we are off and running and loving it.

There really is something for everyone. A flavour of the first weekend included the palpable buzz generated by Simon Callow, the 110th birthday of Peter Rabbit – he’s looking remarkably well on it…, a thoughtful joust between Roger Scruton and AC Grayling in the Sheldonian on whether we need God to survive, fans meeting the authors they love, the magnificent Hendricks dispensing copious amounts of free gin, Michael Morpurgo inspiring a generation of future readers.

I could go on, but I am sure that you get the gist. With the glorious weather set fair for the rest of the week there is no place on Earth that I would rather be. If you get the chance do come along

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