Number of independent bookshops RISES for a second year

Number of independent bookshops RISES for a second year despite Amazon clobbering the High Street

  • The number of independent book stores has grown for the second year running  
  • The total number of independent bookshops, which are members of the Booksellers Association, rose from 868 to 883 in the last year, figures show
  • While the rest of the high street was hammered by a move towards online shopping before Christmas, bookshops reported a surge in visits and sales

Rumours of the death of the traditional bookshop appear to have been greatly exaggerated.

Following 20 years of decline, the number of independent book stores on the nation’s streets has grown for the second year running. 

Despite the convenience of tablet devices like Amazon’s Kindle that can hold an entire library, it seems they do not offer the same simple pleasure of holding a book. 

Following 20 years of decline, the number of independent book stores on the nation’s streets has grown for the second year running [File photo]

Everything from the artwork, the ability to flick back and forth, turn the corner on a page, and even the smell of paper seem to be luring Britons back to the printed word.

The total number of independent bookshops, which are members of the Booksellers Association, rose from 868 to 883 in the last year, show figures published today. 


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While the rest of the high street was hammered by a move towards online shopping before Christmas, bookshops reported a surge in visits and sales.

The association said 73 per cent of outlets reported their Christmas sales were up on the year before. 

Everything from the artwork, the ability to flick back and forth, turn the corner on a page, and even the smell of paper seem to be luring Britons back to the printed word [File photo]

And 63.5 per cent said more people came through their doors. The association is now urging the Government to cut business rates for bigger retailers.

Spokesman Meryl Halls said: ‘Bookshops, especially our larger members, continue to experience unequal business rates, and struggle alongside wider retail with unfair competition from online retailers, as well as post-Brexit uncertainty.’

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