Monday, 29 April 2013

#ReadItMD13 - "Brilliant Bookshops" week - Celebrate your local independent booksellers!

Hedgehog Books, Penrith - An aladdin's cave of booky goodness!
For this week's #ReadItMD13 theme week we thought we'd take a look at beautiful bookshops! There are many reasons why we champion them in a climate where quite often they're overlooked and struggling to stay afloat (amongst others, they pay their taxes!) . Why are they worth shouting from the rooftops about when they're not always the cheapest option?

It's not just about the price of books, it's about the customer service you'll often find in your local independent bookseller. A chance to meet knowledgeable staff who love books as much as you do and quite often (if you're a regular) get to know what you like and what to recommend to you. Local indies always have something going on with various author events and book celebrations throughout the year, a great chance to meet other bookfolk! Above all though there's that unmatched feeling when you walk into a book store of not knowing what to look at first and that's the buzz that means we can barely pass one by.

Recommendations-wise, we've tipped our hat at the top of this article to Hedgehog Bookshop in Penrith. Not exactly our local but they have a mail order service and go above and beyond to source books that aren't always easy to come by. Looking at the photos of the store, we'd definitely be popping in if we're ever in the vicinity.

More local to us, we've championed our fantastic local indies quite often.

Mostly Books - No longer "Black Books" it's all decked out in lovely green paint now

Mostly Books (in Stert St, Abingdon, Oxon) is another place that wows the minute you step inside the door. I'm often shuffled through the adult book section at the front of the store to the cosy nook out back where all the children's books are lined up along the walls. Often there are colouring sheets and activities tucked away out there too. For a small store, it's surprisingly well stocked and Mark Thornton (the shop owner) runs an entertaining blog and twitter feed to keep us local yokels informed. Like most local independent bookshops, Mostly Books often stocks fantastic local books about Abingdon and its rich and varied history. Definitely worth popping in, not just for the brilliant children's book selection but for all manner of books of local interest.

The Abingdon Bookstore
We're also lucky enough to have The Abingdon Bookstore nestling amongst the chain stores in our local precinct. Again it's a fairly small store but has a great selection of children's books - and always has some great 'seasonal' window displays.

We'd love to see photos or links to your local indies. Drop a comment at the bottom of this article and join us celebrating why indies are so vital to keeping us all stocked up with lovely lovely books!

Further reading and more links!

The Letterbox Library - Our fave booksellers of brilliant diverse and inclusive books

Barefoot Books - Vibrant books, and a brilliant store in Summertown, Oxford

City Books in Hove - Brighton and Hove's liveliest and largest indie bookshop

The Golden Treasury - London's largest independent bookshop