|Book Ends, an independent bookshop in Exmouth Market, London|
Thursday, 8 March 2012
Nurture Your Local Bookshop
Reading tonight's Evening Standard and there is a wonderful, heart-warming story about an independent bookshop which has been saved by Twitter and Facebook, or rather saved via Twitter and Facebook. You can read the story here but essentially the bookshop was undergoing financial troubles to the tune of £60k, and when they asked for help via their social networks, they were inundated with new customers - both in the shop and online - and fundraising events involving local writers. They're celebrating this Saturday with a party! What a lovely story! But it just highlights the challenges of bookshops in general and in particular independent bookshops in these digital, recessionary times.
In my own neighbourhood there are no bookshops, independent or otherwise. Oxfam books has plugged the gap, and while it does serve a valuable purpose, you don't get the same range of books or focus, particularly with children's books. We're lucky enough to have a library that hasn't suffered from the cutbacks and they do rhyme time and story time and have lots of book-related activities for kids. But bookshops can play a really important role in helping to inspire a love of books at an early age. There's a wonderful independent bookseller, which specialises in children's books, in Exmouth Market in London called Book Ends. It's like an Aladdin's cave and the range of books on offer is fantastic. I'd love to have a shop like this on my high street or even any kind of bookshop. So if you're lucky enough to have a local bookshop nurture it, buy from it, attend its events ... don't take it for granted because one day it might not be there.