'Magic of Books' day in Bognor Regis gets kids excited about stories

An event celebrating ‘The Magic of Books' took place at Bognor’s Heygates Bookshop on Sunday, giving kids of all ages a chance to celebrate reading.

Kicking off at 10.30am, the big day coincided with the 25th anniversary of the release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. As such, it featured costumes and props inspired by the films, photo opportunities on a Platform 9 and 3 Quarters, and story-telling from a number of local authors, including children’s writer Kate Thompson.

For owner and organiser Jason Passingham, Sunday’s event was all about inspiring young people to pick up a book, about celebrating the power of the written word – and in that regard, he said, he feels he’s succeeded.

"It went really really well,” he said. “It turned out to be so much more than I’d ever imagined."

Studying the mandrake at Heygates Bookshop

"We had the two story time events, we had people coming in to look at the props or having their photos taken, we had music playing – and so many people said ‘oh please tell me you’re going to do another one.’

"Hopefully, some of the kids who came along went home excited about reading again.”

The event comes after Heygates Bookshop, in the railway station, won its category in the Sussex Muddy Stiletto awards earlier this year. For Mr Passingham, running a successful business is all about making a shop bigger than the sum of its parts: “I think you need to ask yourself ‘what can I do to make myself an experience? something you can’t get online?’ It’s not just about what’s on the shelf, it’s about interaction, it’s about learning, it’s about everything.”

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The magic of Books