It’s Independent Booksellers Week this week. A week dedicated to quirky booksellers everywhere: that man in a baggy cardigan with elbow patches, that woman with a pince-nez on a chain and an old-fashioned bicycle who talks to her cats (oh, that’s me – well it would be if Specsavers could be persuaded to stock pince-nez), the children’s bookseller who holds regular reading groups and even those who look perfectly normal but harbour a deep, dark secret. They love to read and want you to love it too. All round the country bookshops will be holding events and readings, hanging up the bunting and breaking out the cake, banging the drum and blowing the bugles all to remind you, the shopper, that independent is best.
Don’t go into that soulless chain, go into an independent bookshop instead: a picture perfect children’s bookshop, a gardening bookshop, a cookbook shop where they cook from the books or the beautiful Persephone Books in Lamb’s Conduit Street (see? doesn’t even the address sound interesting?) which specialises in 20th century women’s writing and where all the books are bound in silver grey with endpapers taken from old fabric designs chosen to match the mood of the book.
The staff love the books – trust me, you don’t work in a bookshop for the money and glory. We know what we have and can find it if you ask and best of all we can recommend other things you may like and introduce you to a new author you don’t know yet.