•      Support your local bookshop        

Independent Bookshops

Independent bookstore are a valuable asset to any city, town or village. I spent many a happy hour – and my pocket, Christmas or birthday money  – in them as a child. They are a offer us the latest literary releases, a meeting point where authors share their work and meet new readers and fans. They offer us a rich ‘bookish’ environment in which to browse before we buy. I love to sip coffee and leaf through my new purchase.  I can be sure that independent booksellers know their stock, they suggest new authors and broaden my reading. Along with public libraries they are key to our communities.

Here are someof my favourites:

The Kew Bookshop – Kew

The Kew Bookshop Situated just outside Kew Gardens Station, this is a good place to come and browse for some literary inspiration on your way to The Botanic Gardens at Kew. They may be small but pack a large range of titles for both adults and children. Along with the books, they also stock some great gifts. For the children, they have a lovely selection of literary cuddly toys including Gruffalos, Moomins and many others.

City Books – Brighton

City books Arranged over two floors, City Books has a large range of carefully selected books, including an extensive selection of books of local interest.Founded and run by Paul and Inge Sweetman, the shop is on Western Road, in the Brunswick area of Brighton and Hove, bang in the centre of  the city. Regency architecture dominates this part of Britain’s City by the Sea.

Steyning Bookshop – East Sussex

Steyning Bookshop Run by Sara Bowden, this shop is a reader’s and writer’s heaven. They sell a range of new books with a large selection for children and young adults. Free local car parks and limited on-street parking available. Look out for their events (I took part in a conversation with the crime writer Elly Griffths – see Feb 2014 post – a good night.)

Abbey’s Bookshop – Sydney

Abbeys Bookshop Sydney I lived in Sydney in the eighties. I spent many absorbed hours sitting under Eve Abby’s jacaranda tree tapping out a draft of my first novel on her portable typewriter. So Eve, who founded Abbey’s books, encouraged new writers as well as selling a wide range of books. She introduced me to Australian writers such as Patrick White and Miles  Franklin. If you’re in Sydney this is where you should head – buy your reading matter then go to the beach – Abbeys offers a wonderful and rich treasure trove of books.