As more and more people go into self-isolation, it’s looking likely that our favourite independent bookshops will take a hit.
There are few things lovelier in life than an indie bookshop: the joy of being surrounded by so many unread stories, the sense of calm, and, of course, the shelves stacked high with books old and new, pre-loved and ready-to-be-loved, rare and antiquarian.
But despite seeing an encouraging resurgence in support for independent bookshops in recent years, they’ve recently been put at risk by – you guessed it – coronavirus. With many people self-isolating and others becoming increasingly anxious to avoid spaces that are too crowded or overly cosy, these treasure troves are likely to be hit hard.
Independent bookshops started to crop up more and more, and 24 opened across the UK and Ireland in 2019 alone. But with the coronavirus pushing the nation’s lives into uncertainty, these shops are likely to feel the weight of people self isolating and social distancing.
But there are things we can do to show our support and help keep sales up in this trying, uncertain time. Many independent booksellers take orders online or over the phone, and will deliver across the UK. So if you wanted to buy the latest Hilary Mantel novel or fancy finding something completely different to read, maybe consider popping over to one of these shop’s online sites to put in your order.
Golden Hare Books (Edinburgh)
Persephone Books (London)
Barnett's Books (Wadhurst)
Ken Spelman Books (York)
Petersfield Bookshop (Petersfield)
DRAKE the Bookshop (Stockton-on-Tees)
Sevenoaks Bookshop (Sevenoaks Town)
Kim's Bookshop (Arundel and Chichester)
Kim’s Bookshop has locations in Arundel and Chichester, and has been going since 1971. It started out as a tiny shop in Worthing, but its reputation for housing interesting titles soon proceeded it.
While it doesn’t have an online ordering system, it does have something else that is fairly magical. As it says on their website, they aren’t called “the book detectives” for nothing. If there’s a book you read many years ago or a story you’ve heard about but you just can’t find, fill in their online Book Finder form – they will almost certainly find it for you.
Five Leaves (Nottingham)
London Review Bookshop (London)
Mostly Books (Abingdon)
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