Tuesday, July 19, 2016

U.K. Indie Bookshops Are 'Fighting Back'

Shelf Awareness

Independent booksellers in the U.K. are "fighting back, boosted by a surge in printed book sales--particularly children's books--and innovative approaches to getting people through the door," the Guardian reported, adding that "figures to be released this month from Nielsen Book Research show that, in the first half of this year, Britons bought more than 78 million books. That's almost 4 million more than in the same period in 2015."
"You can't just exist as a bookshop nowadays; you have to make it a place where people want to hang out," said Vanessa Lewis, co-owner of the Book Nook in Hove, a "small independent store beat national rivals such as Waterstones and Foyles to win children's bookseller of the year," the Guardian noted.

Betsy Tobin and Tessa Shaw opened their north London bookshop Ink@84 at the end of last year in Highbury, north London. "We took over what used to be an estate agent, and people in the community practically fell on their knees with gratitude. They couldn't believe something like this was opening on their doorstep," said Tobin.

Edinburgh Bookshop's owner, Marie Moser, will brew you a cup of tea if you look like you need one: "We're always putting the kettle on for people." she said, noting that the indie resurgence does not surprise her: "I never believed the book was dead. These things take a hundred years to shake out.... If you say the A-word in my shop, you get a honk with our car hooter."

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