Last week was Independent Booksellers Week.
Our indie bookshops are really something to celebrate, a collective national treasure:
little pockets of book-heaven, each one unique, staffed by people who are passionate, knowledgeable and committed to bringing the very best to their customers big and small.
It’s fiendishly tricky to pick out my faves, but I’m going to name three absolute gems.
First is Pickled Pepper Books in Crouch End. Its a family affair, warm and welcoming and spacious; when James and I visited we had such a larksome, joyous time and were wonderfully well looked after. James writes about it here.
Next is Bags of Books in Lewes, which is a lovely old building, crowded to bursting with goodies – it’s like walking into a box of chocolates! The shop puts on fantastic events. I’m SO HAPPY to be coming back this Saturday with Martha I Heart Holidays…
And here is Storytellers, Inc in Lytham St Annes. Dixie and Percy gave me a lift up there last weekend, as you can see: I really saw an amazing team (mother and daughter – we like those!) in action. They work so hard to think of new ways to spread the word – in schools, running clubs, making their wonderful shop a home from home.
Once, in a different indie children’s bookshop from these and a while back, I came across a small boy who was just always there, sitting, browsing, reading – totally engrossed and happy. He’d come to anything and everything. If there was a fairy mermaid princess tea party at 1 and another at 3 he’d come to both. I found this very touching somehow and never forgot it.
Anyways… my three is only three – what about you? If you’re an indie bookseller yourself or you know one that is pretty fab, please do add to this list!