Independent Booksellers Week
This week has been designated Independent Booksellers Week. I love bookshops. I love everything about books – the smell, the touch, the covers, turning the pages, apart from the amazing words and worlds to be found inside. I have to make myself stay away from bookshops because I find it difficult to come out without several new books clutched in my hand.That’s why for me, ebooks can never compare, despite all the advantages that are cited. They haven’t got the visceral pleasure of ‘proper’ books.
I even love Waterstones, even though I don’t like a lot of their policies; they make life difficult for the independents, and they took over wonderful stores such as Ottakars and then got rid of them. But they’ve got books and lots of them, so I can’t help but love them.
But they’re corporate, and do things to publishers who annoy them, such as removing the pre-order button, so my love is tempered by that. On the other hand, I admire completely the way plucky little independent bookshops keep going in the face of so much that is against them.
A few days ago I posted this on my Facebook page: Just as I was feeling depressed about book sales, my wonderful local independent book shop, Blandford Books in Broadway,phoned and said they’d sold out of both ‘Unravelling’ and ‘The Piano Player’s Son’ and they needed more copies! Let’s celebrate Independent Booksellers Week by visiting a real life bookshop!
and I was amazed by the response. 58 people have liked the post and there have also been lots of comments. I like to think the reaction was because people are pleased my books are doing well, but also because they support independent bookshops.
There are so many bookshops I like, but just to identify a few. Obviously I’m biased in favour Blandford Books in Broadway, and their wonderful bookseller, Emma. She has championed my novels from the beginning!
I’ve also mentioned Scarthin Books in Cromford, Derbyshire before. It’s a real treasure trove. Do check out the link – it’s really interesting.
Another bookshop I instantly loved when I discovered it is Barter Books, housed in the old railway station in Alnwick, Northumberland.
But the most bonkers bookshop I’ve ever been in is Venice and is called Libreria Acqua Alta. This bookshop is crammed with books, some on shelves, but others in gondolas, baths, on the floor, forming a stairway outside, so that you can see the canal. There’s an open doorway onto the canal which says ‘No exit’! It’s an astonishing place and no description can do it justice.
Having extolled the virtues of independent bookshops, I have to add a rider and say it’s very difficult for an author to exist these days without the dreaded Amazon. For an author the reviews on Amazon and their ranking system are in turn a wonderful thing and a curse. So, I wouldn’t want anybody to forget that ‘The Piano Player’s Son’ is for sale on Amazon (as is ‘Unravelling‘), and both as paperback and ebooks! And here’s a taste from one of the many lovely reviews: It’s an absorbing story with an intricate multi stranded plot, but what I love most about this book is Lindsay Stanberry-Flynn’s characters with their heart rending back stories and beautifully thought our motivations.Tags: bookshops, Independendent Booksellers Week