Independent Bookshop Week 2016 (And The Chance To Win A Book From One) #IBW2016

To turn away from all the dreadful news of late, lets head towards something that all of us book lovers, erm, love. Independent Bookshops. For today in the UK it is Independent Bookshop Week 2016, where e celebrate the wonderful independent bookshops up and down the country. So I thought that we could celebrate it here on the blog too. I have mentioned on many an occasion how much bookshops mean to me now and have meant to me over the years and how important I think they are in the world, so any chance to celebrate them is a good thing. I have found some of my favourite books in them, had wonderful conversations in them (with booksellers, friends, family and the occasional random stranger or two, sometimes with tea and cake) and have many many happy memories of my time in them. In fact my favourite picture of myself and Granny Savidge, who I miss going bookshopping with and chatting about books to dreadfully) was taken in my favourite independent, Scarthin Books.

Awww, the memories and the laughter… and the occasional string disagreement on an author or book. It was as much a treat going book shopping with my Gran in my early thirties as it was in my early years, just a slight shift of focus in the books I was looking at and hopefully the conversation. I have waxed lyrical about the bookshops I love and the books I have found in them in the YouTube (I know so modern) video below, if you are on YouTube do give this tag a whirl and let me know once you have or if you have already.

I won’t be heading to a bookshop today, as The Beard has gone away from a weekend working and so I am allowing myself a weekend in having a readathon by myself BUT you can be sure I will heading to some when I am in London later in the week. In fact myself and the lovely Jen Campbell are going to do lunch and Libreria (a bookshop I have been very intrigued by and not been to yet) which has lead my to an idea… If you answer the following questions by the end of Wednesday the 22nd of June I will choose one of you at random and buy you a book in Libreria based on your answers. I may even get you a tote bag if they do them. So the questions are…

a) What is your favourite bookshop. b) What is the last amazing book you were recommended or found browsing in a bookshop? c) What is your favourite book of all time?

Based on those I will try and find whoever wins a brilliant book and send it to you anywhere in the world? How does that sound? Right, I am off to stick my nose back in a brilliant book. Good luck.

Update – I belatedly picked a winner, well The Beard chose the number 20 at random so congrats to Marissa Gaudette who I will be getting a copy of Iain Pears’ Arcadia (based on her favourites) as soon as I get her address. 

32 Comments

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32 responses to “Independent Bookshop Week 2016 (And The Chance To Win A Book From One) #IBW2016

  1. a) Crossword!
    b) Shantaram
    c)Shantaram!!! And also Harry Potter!!

  2. Ceri Kay

    a) The Nantwich Bookshop and cafe, b) the last book I found browsing in a bookshop was A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James (I haven’t read it yet) and c) my favourite ever book is A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth.

  3. Laura C

    a. Old Church Mall Rare and Collectable Books (in Webster, NY)
    b. Eight Angela Thirkell books (used, in excellent condition) for an wonderful price
    c. The Secret History by Donna Tartt (altho I dislike her others)

  4. Love that happy moment captured in the photo of you and your gran. Our local independent book store has those wonderful shelf notes which staff write, near favorite books, and I find tempting books from their notes. I am not answering your questions so someone else can win. My TBR books are in a towering condition.

  5. Sweet pic of you and your Gran!
    Great contest idea too..
    (1) I live in a small NC town and two doors down from the toy store where I work is a book shop owned by a dear friend called Novels & Novelties. Val was the first person to make me feel welcome when I moved here 3 years ago and she offers a beautifully curated collection, great book events and several popular book clubs.
    (2) I have to name not one but two books in answer to this one – Queen of the Night and Crimson Petal and the White. I picked up Crimson Petal based on Jen Campbell’s recommendation and Queen based on the excitement of several at Book Riot, especially Liberty Hardy. And yes, I’ve noted these two have several themes in common!
    (3) The entire Sherlock Holmes canon will always be my favorite. I have spent time dipping into many genres Over the years, but my love of historical fiction, and in particular, historical mysteries has been constant thanks to ACD. Give me an intrepid detective in Victorian London or a turn of the century NYC copper and I’m in heaven.
    Sorry so long winded, but you asked!🤓

  6. 1. Favorite bookstore has to be Northshire Bookstore in Vermont. That is where the first Booktopia took place and they are the bookstore who picked up the Booktopia mantle. There is no local independent bookstore for me, so I tend to use independent stores I was introduced to through Booktopia. McLean and Eakin in Petoskey, Michigan is a very close second.
    2. “Finding Nouf” by Zoe Ferraris was sent to me through my postal book group. I really, really liked it and will read the follow-up.
    3. My favorite book of all times is a question that I don’t usually like, but I’ll pick “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

  7. What a sweet offer, Simon! The very first independent bookshop day is being held today in the province of Quebec (Canada), where I live, and hope that we get an entire week here too very soon!

    a) The Title Page, in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania (owned by a lovely lady called Beverly Potter).
    b) “The Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
    c) Since I’m unable to pick just one: “Rebecca” by Daphné du Maurier and “Our Mutual Friend” by Charles DIckens

  8. Well this is weird, I was just having a conversation with my father today about how all the independent bookstores in my area have closed. My favorite was a tiny little bookstore called Book Ends. It was owned by my neighbor, and was situated in a corner in the local mall where I got my very first job right out of high school. I didn’t have much money, but I spent every lunch or dinner break there reading in a corner. My neighbor was very nice about it and didn’t mind that I wasn’t buying anything, and when I was able to buy she always gave me a nice discount. Sadly, I learned today from my father that she passed away. Now hold on to your hat! She was the bookseller that introduced me to Agatha Christie. Up to that point I had never read Christie, so thank you Mrs. Braccio. I’m going to consider that my amazing recommendation. There have been others, but none like Dame Agatha – I have been hooked ever since. As for my favorite book, not to rain on your parade Simon, but it’s always been Rebecca. I found it at such a turning point in my life – I was was reading a lot of children’s mysteries and then went right to Rebecca. I can still remember how I felt the first time that I read it. Ugh, very long reply, but thanks for asking the questions. Made me think 🙂

  9. What a brilliant idea! And thank you. My answers:
    a) One Tree Books, Petersfield
    b) Sewing the Shadows Together, Alison Baillie
    c) The Three Musketeers, Alexandre Dumas
    Have a lovely rest of weekend.

  10. Karen B

    Unfortunately, there are no independent bookshops where I live. However, my favorite one when I spend a day in Manhattan is The Strand. What an amazing bookshop! I could spend all day there. While I was there I remembered a bunch of podcasts had mentioned 84 Charing Cross Road the week before and I stumbled across it at the store. Read it on the train home and loved it! Don’t be disappointed, but Pride and Prejudice is my all-time favorite book and has been since I was around 13 years old. A very close second are the Harry Potter books. They helped me through my Mom’s illness and death and then kept me breathing during the initial years of grieving. I don’t know how I would have made it through without my friends at Hogwarts. And, just for the record, I was an adult reading them!

    I love that picture of you and your Gran. I love when you speak of her. What an amazing relationship you had!🙂

  11. My favourite bookshop ever has sadly gone – I don’t know if it even had a name but it was in Merton Abbey Mills, where William Morris used to have his factory once upon a time, and it did used vintage postcards and old Punch magazines as well. That said there’s also a lovely second hand bookshop on the corner of Bell Street and Daventry Street near Edgware Rd tube, which has a basement cluttered with sheet music to the point you could swim in it. I’ve just realised I don’t know the name of that either though. I suppose it must have a name.

    The last book I found browsing and bought and read was Pamela Hansford Johnson’s An Avenue of Stone, which is easily deserving of republication. That was from Turn the Page in Earlsfield, which is sadly also closing, but I got 6 fantastic books for £6, so it’s an ill wind (I also got locked in when the proprietor went out for chips and didn’t realise I was in the conservatory looking at the HV Mortons, but he wasn’t gone long, and I just went on browsing, so it was fine).

    My favourite book of all time.. is really difficult. At the moment Agatha Christie’s Autobiography, which I don’t own but may have to buy as I really didn’t want to give it back to the library.

    • My fave bookshop is The Hickory Stick Bookshop in Washington CT. There are author talks galore, they provide such a supportive venue.
      While browsing I discovered In the Shadow of the Banyon, a memoir-into-fiction homage to the authors father and a tribute to survivors.
      My fave book of all time? Has to be Little Women, first chapter book I read.

  12. I stay at Mumbai, India. So probably the answers would not have any relevance. Still,
    1. Favourite bookstore is Wayword and Wise.
    2. The last amazing book I was recommended was The Long way to a small and Angry planet by Becky Chambers. And the last interesting book I found at a bookstore is Good bye Tsugumi by Banana Yoshimoto.
    3. That is such a difficult question. I would go with God of small things by Arundhathi Roy.

  13. a) In Sri Lanka we don’t have a lot of bookshops that sell English fiction. But I’d say my favourite is Vijitha Yapa
    b) The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham
    c) Now this is a tough one. I would go with In Love by Alfred Hayes.

  14. Julie's Book Cave

    a. My favourite independent bookshop is Venables and Bainbridge in Howarth, Yorkshire. b. I was recommended The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim. which I read and enjoyed. c. My favourite book of all time is Great Expectations by Charles Dickens with Jane Eyre running a very close second. Good luck to us one and all!

  15. Kimberly matchett

    1) My favorite shop is The Last Word bookstore in Fort Worth, TX. It’s only been open a month, but the owner is fulfilling his dream job and he’s knowledgeable about books. I trust him completely when he makes a recommendation.
    2) That same shop owner just recommended The Shadow of The Wind a few days ago and I can’t wait to get started.
    3) My favorite is probably Harry Potter. The book I usually recommend to others is The Art of Racing in the Rain and The Last Lecture.

  16. I was just recommended House of Shadows Nicola Cornick – three narratives, three timelines. Love the sound of it. Very few bookshops here in Sri Lanka, especially not for the books I am looking for.

  17. What a wonderful idea – love it! Also love the happy picture of you and your gran.

    My favourite bookshop is in Woodhall Spa in Lincolnshire – The Book Fayre. Gorgeous shop, new and old books and coffee and cake – winner!

    The last great book I was recommended was The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. I read this back in January, and I still have a hit of a book hangover from it!

    My favourite book of all time is The Lord of the Rings (and Harry Potter – cheat!)

  18. Tina

    Fave bookshop is Peter’s books Sheringham Norfolk.Last book found in his shop was a first edition Dorothy Whipple for £2 with stained boards.Fave book all time is “TO THE NORTH by Elizabeth Bowen.

  19. Marissa Gaudette

    a) My favourite bookshop that I’ve been to is The Painted Lady Bookstore in Savannah, Georgia.
    b) I don’t have a lot of independent bookshops in my hometown, so my answer for this question would have to be my editions of Lord of the Rings that I found while browsing The Painted Lady Bookstore (even though I still haven’t gotten around to reading them yet).
    c). My favourite books of all time are The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield and the His Dark Materials Series by Philip Pullman.

  20. Astrid Helene Pedersen

    a) Tronsmo in Oslo, Norway.

    b) The Book of Speculation (on my TBR)

    C) Grapes of Wrath, and To Kill a Mockingbird. It was too hard!!

  21. Emily R

    This almost sounds too good to be true!!

    a) Daunt Books in Marylebone, London
    b) Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
    c) Do I really have to choose just one?! Ok, if you insist, then it would probably have to be Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

  22. a) Powell’s Books in Portland, OR. Had to physically stop myself from shouting with delight.
    b) Slade House by David Mitchell
    c) Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, probably

  23. Ann

    Absolutely loved the photo of you and your grandmother sharing a happy moment. I can tell by that photo you loved each other in a special way. Thanks for sharing.

  24. Julie BC

    Favorite bookshop: Bart’s books in Ojai, California
    Best recommendation from a bookshop owner: The Book of Negros by Lawrence Hill
    Favorite book: struggling to choose just one favorite novel, so I will tell you my favorite poetry book — “What Narcissism Means To Be” by Tony Hoagland

  25. 1) Beers Books in Sacramento, California (http://www.beersbooks.com/). It’s been around since 1936 and I never come away empty handed. However, I truly miss Raffles, the beloved bookstore cat, who passed away in January of 2013. Just a few scratches on top of his head was worth a store visit.

    2) A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra was recommended to me over a year ago. I finally started it and am almost finished – holding my breath.

    3) A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. For me, this novel came around at exactly the right time. I grew up in the Reagan era, and like the narrator I was angry and raging against politics and organized religion. This is the only novel I’ve read three times.

  26. chicagojfox

    Hey there!
    a) my fav indie bookshop is Bookling in Odessa, Ukraine. It sells mostly English books, which is a rare thing here and has a lot of titles that interest me. I’ve had other favourites before, but..they are closed now.=(
    b) my favourite find has to go to a Here graphic novel. I was so happy to find it.
    c) dang, I don’t actually have a favourite book of all time.. is it bad? Can I put my recent favourites instead?
    Okay, I’ll try my luck: The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly, The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater, Redshirts by John Scalzi, Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel and Noggin by John Corey Whaley. They are all brilliant.

    Thank you for this giveaway!
    And Happy reading!

  27. Rhonda

    The Strand bookstore grew up going there.All those wonderful books.A gorgeous book from last year is The Daughters by Adrienne Celit.Opera fables mother daughter relationships lyrically written.This is a debut novel I tell everyone about it.

  28. louise

    My favourite book shops are probably Any Amount Of Books
    in London and a Danish used bookstore called Knappes Antikvariat.

    The last amazing book I bought on sale – otherwise I couldn’t afford it, it’s a huge black hardback, illustrated, with H.C. Andersen’s diary entries from his walks around Copenhagen – the Danish title is :
    Fodreise fra Holmens Canal til Østpynten af Amager i Aarene 1828 og 1829

    I’m not good at the favourite book thing, but a few of them are :
    American Gods
    The Eyre Affair
    Night train to Lisbon
    11.22.63

  29. Andrew_MC

    My favourite independent bookstore is Type Books in Toronto, Canada. It’s a cozy little bookstore with a decent selection, and near my work so I can go there on my lunch and check out their newest titles. They are known for innovative window displays and were voted best bookstore in the city last year in a magazine poll.
    The most recent book I bought while browsing was “Racket: New Writing Made in Newfoundland”, a collection of stories by up-and-coming writers which is edited by Lisa Moore. It caught my eye due to its distinctive cover art, which pays homage to the packaging of Newfoundland hard bread (hardtack) by Purity Factories. I like anthologies as a way to get introduced to authors who are unfamiliar to me, and as a Newfoundlander myself I am always interested in any new fiction coming from there, so I bought it on the spot.
    Like others I struggle with the idea of a favourite book of all time, but among the books I’ve read in the last couple years I think I’d give the nod to the quiet brilliance of “Stoner” by John Williams.

  30. Lucy B

    who won this?Have i missed the post?

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