If you are reading this blog post then, to be honest, I am probably preaching to the converted. You undoubtedly understand the joy of an independent bookshop, its personally curated books sitting quietly in the peace of the day waiting to be discovered or offered up as a recommendation.
A recommendation, not by the publisher or the buyer responsible for sifting through hundreds of titles selecting just the money making books to sit next to the bread and milk in your local out of town supermarket. A recommendation that is hand selected just for you because you know the curator or maybe have chatted for a few minutes and from that brief conversation a knowledge is gleamed and a selection made... just for you.
Maybe you asked us to hunt down that 1972 publication of The Faraway Tree as a gift for a friend because you remember sharing the pages under the covers, the big light off and the torch light on and you know when she sees that cover picture she will smile and you will both remember a moment in your life when the only things you worried about was the batteries in the torch lasting and will there be marmite for breakfast.
You already know, dear reader, that our love, and it is a love, of all things literary stretches beyond the bounds of curating our shelves and playing book sleuth. We are an integral part of your High Street and the community around it.
Is it is with a heavy heart tinged with a tiny pinch of anger that I hear every week the story of the demise of yet another indie bookshop. A business shut down not by the incompetence of its owner but by the persistent strangulation from the online goliath that is Amazon supported, all be it in a lesser role, by some of our better known and long established publishing houses.
Every day we fight against publicity actively encouraging book lovers to buy from their local supermarket or the internet giants, embargoed release dates that somehow only seem to apply to us and prices that we simply cannot compete with and, in my opinion, devalue a product which is created with love and care and attention and then held up for a knockdown price; if you could buy a pair of Jimmy Choos for £10 instead of £300 surely the desire to tip tap down the street in perfectly styled synchronicity would loose its appeal!
So please spread the word far and wide, the gloves are on and the indies are fighting back but we need your help to do it.