for writers and readers….


book shop and cat
Today is the beginning of Independent Booksellers Week – a national celebration across the country bringing together readers and writers, booksellers and book buyers.
I know some people – even some authors – who can’t understand how or why such specialist shops survive in today’s marketplace. It seems to me that the why is easy to answer. They don’t just sell one particular commodity: they know their local community and serve its special needs and interests. Not having to answer to a distant HQ, they have the freedom to to be different. They are not just specialists – they are special and and any High Street is richer for having an independent bookshop in its midst.
How they survive is a different matter and in the end I suppose it’s down to us….Use it or lose it.
Brighton has lost many bookshops over the years but some independents are thriving.
CITY BOOKS in Hove  organise regular literary evenings. Guest speakers have included Simon Callow, John Simpson, Nick Cave,  Ian Rankin, Tony Benn and Caitlin Moran.shopfrontComing up in the next week is DAVID SEDARIS reading from his book of essays ‘LET’S EXPLORE DIABETES WITH OWLS’ on Monday evening July 1st in the wonderful surroundings of the Music Room at The Royal Pavilion.
On Tuesday July 2nd KATE HUMBLE will be reading from her memoir of country life HUMBLE BY NATURE at the Ropetackle Arts Centre in Shoreham and on Thursday July 4th RICHARD MADELEY will be talking to his wife JUDY FINNEGAN about his first novel SOME DAY I’LL FIND YOU

BOOK NOOK in First Avenue, Hove sells books from birth to teenage fiction and was voted Children’s Independent Bookseller of the Year 2012. booknookshop

This is what they have lined up for Independent Booksellers Week (plus 10% discount).

Book Cover Competition The prize is a bundle of books. Two age groups; 4-8 years and 9 plus. and the deadline July 5th  The winners will be announced the next day

Tuesday July 2nd at 11am: Mum and Baby Book Club with a free bar of Galaxy!
Come along and chat with other parents about which books your baby enjoys with a bar of Galaxy. Ness, one of the owners of the shop, will also be discussing the top sellers, what works with different ages and books for progress. For babies under 2 years old. Free but you need to book as spaces are limited.

Friday July 5th at 4pm: Be a Record Breaker with Illustrator Rebecca Cobb
Help BOOK NOOK break the Guinness World Record by creating a Paper Doll chain with illustrator Rebecca Cobb.  Free and open to all ages but you need to book to ensure that they have enough paper!

Saturday July 6th at 11am: Bear’s Best Friend with Sarah Dyer
magical event about friendship with local illustrator/author Sarah Dyer. Open to children of all ages who can bring along their own bear or cuddly toy friend, listen to the story and take part in the craft activity. Sarah will be drawing illustrations, reading stories and signing books. Free, but book.

THE KEMPTOWN BOOKSHOP in St George’s Road has been going strong since 1970s. They stock over 10,000 titles across all ranges and were awarded ‘Parliamentary Best Small Shops Competition 2011′, (placed third best shop in the UK). They won’Best Bookshop of the Year 2010’, London and the South.bookshopsign131Known for the courses it runs, it also has the distinction of being home to the Bookroom Art Press limited edition print collection which specialises in 20th century British art. The Press supplies to trade and private customers worldwide, and in England to places such as the Tate and the Royal Academy shops. The bookshop stocks the complete range of Bookroom Art Press prints.

Talking of prints, the Independent Alliance of publishers has commissioned five limited edition Written Word prints that will only be available in independent bookshops during next week and cost £20.

 Each print has handwritten extracts from famous contemporary books:  Life of Pi (Yan Martell), The Etymologicon (Mark Forsyth), Man with a Golf Ball Heart (Simon Armitage), The Wild Places (Robert MacFarlane), and A Tale for the Time Being (Ruth Ozeki).
book weekIf you want to find your nearest independent bookshop Guardian Map should help.


  1. E A M Harris
    June 29, 2013

    I support independents whenever I can, but unfortunately I find that I don’t have space for many more books so turn to libraries and Kindle. If the independents could find a way of supplying ebooks I think it might help them.

  2. bridget whelan
    June 29, 2013

    I was just thinking about ebooks and independents….wonder if anyone has found a way

  3. Vikki Thompson
    July 3, 2013

    I love independent book shops, but unfortunately, we don’t have any near where i live. When i do come across one though, i always go in and end up buying something 🙂


  4. Pingback: Words for Your Wall – limited edition prints from Independent Book Shops | BRIDGET WHELAN writer

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