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Monday, 20 June 2011

The Beauty of Independence

I was lucky enough to do a signing in my local bookshop on Saturday as part of Independent Booksellers Week. The Carnforth Bookshop hosted me and went to the sort of trouble that only an independent bookshop would.

The manager had made a beautiful 17th century costume which stood in the shop window, and on the day was worn by my protagonist's namesake, Alice, a local student who I discovered also had an artistic career in mind. I hope she will not get herself into trouble stealing an orchid, like my heroine!

This is exactly the sort of creativity and thinking that enables the independent bookseller to respond to market needs and its own local community.

In the delightful upstairs room, crammed with all manner of hardback non-fiction, some dating back eighty or more years, I gave a talk to a lovely group of people who were happy to discuss books over a coffee whilst waiting for everyone to assemble.

Looking round these second-hand shelves the talk got onto ebooks, and the fact that ebooks are so disposeable that in fifty years time things published in ebook format might well be lost to us, whereas these titles were still with us and available for us to enjoy.

Although the turnout was small, everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and appreciate the effort that had gone into the event.
Love your Local Bookshop here!

Further reading: Guardian article about the survival of local bookshops


  1. I was precisely that sort of thinking that encouraged me to set up A Very Merry Chase on Createspace in large print format. I my never sell more than a copy or two, but by gosh at least it will be available for people to hold in their hands--and hopefully treasure--if they so desire.

  2. While people love reading from their Nooks and Kindles, I think that in the future some of them will return to books. I know I love my copy of The Lady's Slipper, even though I am still trying to meet my publisher's deadline and haven't had time to read much. It is right here on my desk giving off that bookish feel. I will also buy a copy of A Very Merry Chase soon, although I do have the PDF. Books are precious.

  3. The demise of independent book stores is a terrible shame. When I was growing up (gosh that makes me sound old!) there were 3 in my village - now there isnt a single bookshop - only WHSmith's and they dont count. I'm envious you have such a thriving local bookstore - make sure you nuture it!
    Grace x

  4. Wonderful post. I still haven't switched to e-books but I am tempted. As soon as my library starts offering the books that way I'll try. On the one hand I do love to hold a book and on the other I'm running out of room.

  5. Thanks for your comments Teresa, Grace, Karen and Debra. I know what you mean about the room, Karen. My shelves are groaning and there are piles on every surface. Good job the village has a book swap in the local shop - I offloaded a few there, but more seem to just appear!

  6. What a great bookshop!