In praise of bookshops

This weekend I was lucky enough to be invited to read at the official opening of our new independent book shop, “Book Corner”, in Saltburn. Nestling between the former NatWest bank and Whistlestop Wines, it is a small but perfectly formed gem run by Jenna, an aspiring writer . She has managed to create a space that is light, colourful and welcoming and there is always something to attract the eye.
I was particularly struck by the number of mothers (and occasional fathers) who arrived with their young children in tow, every one of whom found something to buy. The sight of all these happy little faces, hands clutching their new book, gave me hope for the future of reading.
It is a brave person who opens a book shop in this age. The press is full of stories about the demise of the printed word. We are all doomed, our stories about to be digitized and handed out free of charge by pirate sites, if you believe what they say. Well, whilst I was in the shop there were customers, happy children and one woman who looked in and said, “I’m running to catch a train but I just wanted to say I’m so glad you are here.”
Of course, the Indies are great for relatively new writers. It can be hard for small presses to get their books into the bigger chain outlets but often the Indies will take a chance on us – even make a feature of us. For the first time you can buy my books in my town. Thank you Jenna.