The Book Society was founded in 1921 by Sir Hugh Walpole to bring together professionals from all areas of the book trade. Members include publishers, literary agents, authors, booksellers, librarians, journalists and printers, as well as representatives of a wide variety of trade bodies and publishing services. The Society provides a forum for discussion and engagement on all matters relating to the book trade.
There are eight meetings a year. Members usually gather for dinner, followed by a talk or debate, questions and general discussion. Twice each year, in the summer and at Christmas, drinks receptions take the place of dinner to allow members and their guests the opportunity to mix with each other informally.
Over the past few years, speakers for the dinners have included Charlie Redmayne, James Daunt, Mike Shatzkin, Arnaud Nourry, Jude Kelly, Santiago de la Mora, Ed Vaizey, Perminder Mann, Clare Alexander, Roly Keating, Di Speirs, David Prescott, Sue Wilkinson, Philip Jones and Dame Julia Cleverdon.
Membership is by election through the Committee. The current Chair is Jamie Hodder-Williams, the Vice Chair is Cathryn Summerhayes , the Hon Treasurer is James Long and the Hon Secretary is Emma Lowe. Members of the Committee are Michael Bhaskar, Tim Dare, Meryl Halls, Georgina Moore, Emma Shercliff and Justine Solomons. Amanda Ridout is the Society’s Honorary President.
All members are welcome to propose new candidates for future election to the Society. The maximum number of full members permitted is 300, while members who have retired but wish to keep their involvement with the Society have the option to become honorary members.
The website is intended for members only – to inform them of future events, facilitate bookings, and provide networking opportunities. Any questions please contact us.