Independent Bookshop Week 2015
One of the best things about being an author is how much time you get to shamelessly hang out in bookstores. Since my first book, Soulmates, was published, I’ve met so many INCREDIBLE booksellers who’ve created thriving reading communities all around the country.
This week is Independent Bookshop Week – a week where we can celebrate all the cute/quirky/gorgeous/eccentric and just downright-ruddy-brilliant indie bookstores. So I thought I’d share my top 3 favourite indies that I’ve come across on my travels. Note: it was HARD getting it down to three.
1) Shakespeare & Company, Paris
Two of my bookish dreams as a child were,
a) To have a library like the Beast’s out of Beauty and The Beast, and,
b) For said library to have one of those whizzy ladders that goes along the bookshelves like out of Bedknobs and Broomsticks
So, on a trip to Paris I was awestruck when I stumbled into Shakespeare and Co. and realised my dream book-arrangement actually exits. This place just HEAVES with character, and books, so many books. Crammed into nooks and crannies and up-to-the-ceiling. It’s so charming and cosy that it’s a scientific impossibility to come out of this place without a new book clutched in your hand.
I had just signed with my literary agent when I went there and about to go on submission. I remember finding the cute children’s section, staring at the YA shelves, and thinking, “maybe just maybe this book-publishing thing will come off and my book will be here one day”.
I can’t wait for the day when hopefully I can go back and see my own books there.
2) Tales On Moon Lane, London
I spent two years living in Herne Hill and just minutes away from this cosy independent children’s bookshop. It was one my favourite things about living there (that and the local Fish and Chip shop, but that’s another list). It was also very dangerous financially as I kept ‘popping in’ to ‘have a look’ and coming out with a bag stuffed full of kids books. There’s a lot of doom-mongering about the death of bookshops in our amazon-era, but you don’t see any evidence of that in TOML. Whatever time of day you went in, there was always a line of excitable kids at the counter, begging their parents to buy more books than the armfuls they were already cradling.
3) Storytellers Inc. Lytham St Annes
Visiting this bookshop in the beautiful seaside town of Lytham was my highlight of my first ever book tour. I went to talk at their teen book club, and still to this day, remain jealous I didn’t have one when I was a teen. Honestly – there was pizza and book chat and a SECRET DEN. What else does a 14-year-old bibliophile need on a Friday night? It helps massively that Creative Director, Katie, shares the same encyclopaedic knowledge of the Angus, Thongs, and Full-frontal Snogging series as me.
What’s your favourite independent book store? Do let me know over on Twitter @holly_bourneYA.
Independent Bookshop Week (20th to 27th June 2015) is part of the Books Are My Bag
campaign, and seeks to celebrate independent bookshops in the UK and
Ireland. We do this with events, celebrations, reading groups,
storytelling, author signings, literary lunches and face painting! Your
local bookshop will have their own way of celebrating, and we encourage
you to visit to celebrate with them.