One of the nice things about campaigning for a bookshop is that you welcome the success of other bookshops rather than resenting them as competitors. Why? Because alongside the handwringing about Amazon, Kindle, the shrinking book market and bookshops closing down, there are still shops doing well thanks, and even new ones starting, because people want bookshops.
Thus even while the press talks about the death of shelves (because “why will we ever need them in future ?”) at least five new bookshops have announced that they are opening.
So we have not only the new Foyles in Waterloo and their shiny new flagship in Charing Cross Road, but also plans of another Hatchards opening at St Pancras later in the summer, new branches of Waterstones in Lewes and Winstones in Sidmouth, and Calliope Gifts – an award-winning bookshop run by Philip Downer who used to run Borders – opening a branch in Alton, Hampshire.
Reflecting (as it happens!) the Northcote Books vision, the various booksellers enthuse about not only selling books but also holding events, providing coffee, supporting local writers and societies, raising the profile of books and reading, and the importance of children’s literature.
Tim Godfray, chief executive of the Booksellers’ Association, says that “No-one can doubt that booksellers, through their creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial skills are absolutely adding value to the bookshop experience for consumers”.
Yup that’s what we want to do with Northcote Books, with your help.