When the country is living under lockdown restrictions, small retail businesses are inevitably hit hard by shop closures and a loss of footfall. Independent bookshops are just one kind of small business feeling this damaging effect, adding to pressure owners have been under for some time given that for many people, larger companies with a strong online presence are the go-to place for buying books.
While independent book sellers face the huge challenge of operating during the coronavirus pandemic, on top of the struggle they were already facing, there are still some shops open for business and catering for book lovers' needs.
From Edinburgh to Brighton, there are small, independently-run bookshops around the country taking online orders and organising home deliveries and safe collection, meaning you can stock up on new reads while supporting businesses that could really do with some help.
Here are a few of the independent bookshops you can still buy books from…
Round Table Books, London
This bookshop in Brixton is all about spotlighting inclusive stories for every reader. You can browse the selection of books and order online, choosing from children's titles to grown-up reads.
Category Is Books, Glasgow
To order from this LGBT+ bookshop, send an email with ‘BOOK ORDER’ in the title and a list of what you would like with your delivery address to email@example.com. The shop also offers bespoke monthly subscriptions. Find more information HERE.
Cover to Cover, Mumbles
Welsh bookshop Cover to Cover is open for deliveries through email [firstname.lastname@example.org] and over the phone [01792 366363]. Find out more information HERE.
The Beverley Bookshop, Beverley
This East Yorkshire bookshop is accepting orders through its online store and via email [email@example.com].
Gay's The Word, London
Gay's The Word is the UK's oldest LGBT+ bookshop and has an online shop ready and waiting for book lovers.
Golden Hare Books, Edinburgh
You can browse Golden Hare’s online store, and contact them via email [firstname.lastname@example.org] if you’d like to buy a book that’s currently out of stock – they’ll do what they can to facilitate.
Sevenoaks Bookshop, Sevenoaks
Sevenoaks Bookshop is currently accepting online orders. Find out more HERE.
Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Five Leaves is offering mail order from stock or to special order, as well as mystery boxes of £50 or £100 of books. You can give a brief, or any exclusions, and they’ll send you a box of books specially chosen by knowledgeable staff. Email email@example.com and SHOP NOW.
No Ordinary Book Shop
No Ordinary Book Shop is an online bookstore with an important mission statement. Its website states it is "committed to selling books for and about Black, mixed race, and dual heritage children; and to promote harmony and understanding to anyone who wants to learn about different cultures."
Daunt Books, London
The capital’s popular Daunt Books is taking online orders, and if the title you’re looking for isn’t in stock, you can drop them an email and they’ll see what they can do.
Lindum Books, Lincolnshire
Mostly Reading, Abingdon
Mostly Reading is accepting orders online, via email and social media. The shop is offering free free delivery within five miles of the shop.
Topping & Company
The small chain of family-run bookshops in Ely, Bath, Edinburgh and St Andrew’s are taking online orders which can be delivered or collected while maintaining social distancing.
City Books, Hove
Brighton and Hove’s largest independent book shop is taking orders over email and telephone, which can then be delivered or collected from the shop’s front door.
Find more information HERE.
Book-Ish is taking online orders, with a stock of over 5000 titles. If you’re looking for something specific but can’t see it on the website, get in touch and the team will try to arrange something for you.
Drake the Bookshop, Stockton-On-Tees
This shop is offering a click and collect service, a drop off service (locally) and a postal service for further afield. For more information you can call or email: 01642 909970/ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fox Lane Books, North Yorkshire
Fox Lane’s Books website is open for online orders and is stocked with lots of books as well as gifts perfect for bookworms including art prints and games.
Woodbridge Emporium, Suffolk
Woodbridge Emporium is taking online orders and offering free postage on orders over £30.
You can find your local independent bookshop, if it isn't in this list, through the organisation 'Bookshop'. Browse locations HERE.
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