Although the challenges facing bookshops are similar for any high street shop, booksellers also face competition from online giants such as Amazon and the increasing popularity of e-books.
OK, so Amazon is great if you know which title you want to buy, you cannot get to a shop and require a fast delivery. But by purchasing online, you are missing out on the pleasure of browsing through shelves of books, finding an unknown author and possibly ending up with a book (or two!) you would not have usually considered.
Independent booksellers can offer so much more than chains or online distributers. Owners of bookshops tend to stock the books they like and also books from unknown authors. They have the time to source specialist subjects and discover unusual stories.
Last year I read a brilliant book called 'The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared'. I discovered this book through a tweet by a local independent bookshop who raved about the book. The book subsequently became so popular with independent booksellers and their customers that it became a bestseller.
Independent bookshops are also great for finding books about the local area and if they have not got the book you are looking for, it can usually be sourced very quickly for you. Also, independents tend to be passionate about their books and are delighted to talk to you about their favourite authors and recommend books to you. This type of personal service makes shopping a pleasure and is not available with online distributors
So next time you are considering buying a new book, do pop into an independent bookshop and I bet that you will find at least one title which you cannot wait to start reading!
I have lived in Abergavenny for 6 years and love the town. I never get tired of walking up Nevill Street and seeing those dramatic hills loom up in front of me! Abergavenny has a friendly atmosphere and...