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Sunday, June 16, 2019

How indie bookshops are fighting back | Books - The Guardian

Independent bookshops are thriving because they understand readers’ tastes better than an Amazon algorithm  by Damian Barr, writer, columnist, and playwright.

Golden Hare in Edinburgh – winner of this year’s Independent Bookshop of the Year at the British Book Awards.
Photo: Alamy
As global temperatures rise at the rate political standards fall, the news that independent bookshops are reviving gives rare cause for celebration. Last year the number of indies on UK high streets grew for the second year running – by 15 to 883, according to the Booksellers Association. As a reader, writer and literary salon host, I’m delighted. As a person genuinely worried that Donald Trump believes The Handmaid’s Tale is a how-to book, I’m relieved.

This resurgence is partly thanks to Independent Bookshop Week, which started on Saturday and runs to 22 June. Across Britain and Ireland indies are doing what they do best: hosting readings and signings, cooking up literary lunches and generally feeding curiosity. Bookshop crawls are quite the thing now and you can join one locally or engage in literary tourism farther afield. Check the hashtag or just join a convoy of people with Books are my Bag totes – I refuse to wash the Tracey Emin special edition...

Every month, my salon celebrates a different indie. Past favourites include Booka in Oswestry, The Edge of the World in Penzance and Golden Hare in Edinburgh – winner of this year’s Independent Bookshop of the Year at the British Book Awards. As it is Pride Month we’re showcasing Category Is Books in Glasgow. One of the newest to open its doors, it is owned and run by wife-and-wife team Charlotte and Fionn Duffy-Scott: “We’re a specialist queer bookshop – we only stock books that have LGBTQIA+ characters, narratives, or were created by somebody in the community. We don’t stock anything that we feel is homophobic, transphobic, biphobic, misogynistic, terf-y, racist or fascist.”
Read more... 

Source: The Guardian