Column: The joy of bookshops

Vanessa Woolley

I recently read that independent bookshops are making a comeback.

Despite the pandemic and the increase in online shopping, over 140 independent bookshops opened between January 2020 and June 2021.

Whilst this is great news for the industry, there have still been some bookshop closures, but I do hope that this trend will continue.

What’s even more interesting, however, is that a large proportion of these new shops were opened by women under the age of 30.

This group of intrepid business women are adding their own twists to encourage customers – from book subscription services to wine bars at the back of the shop to pop ups in parks.

I read all the time and will admit that I do use an e-book as well as shop for books online. That said after the constraints of the last year or so, I have found myself drawn back to bookshops.

There’s something about the smell and the feel of the place.

And it’s such a delight to see the book covers, all new and shiny and ready to be read.

I love second-hand bookshops too.

Such treasure troves. Bookshops are magical spaces where we can take comfort and now, thanks to these amazing young entrepreneurs, relax and socialise.

Who knows, they might even be places where you might meet your one true love?

Or at the very least, someone who likes books as much as you do.

Whilst digital and online book shopping is very convenient, what the last two years of shopping this way has shown us is that the experience is in no way compatible to the real thing.

Happy New Year and happy reading.

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