High Five for Bookshops

It’s that time of year, month, day again when I encourage you to use your local shops! Regular readers, Facebook followers, random strangers I grab in the street, will know I love local shops.

I know I’m incredibly lucky. In my town, we have a greengrocer, several fantastic gift shops which are supplied by local artisans, a community shop which was ahead of the curve on sustainable/plastic-free produce, a deli/refill shop, and – of course – a bookshop!

These are the same shops that sadly had to close in March and are slowly unfurling themselves into the height of summer. It’s a challenge, and it’ll be a challenge for a while longer. There are many schemes to help businesses recover – some are mentioned and never heard of again, and some are lost in a deluge of other announcements. But some seem to have some traction.

I was particularly excited, recently, by the National Book Token’s High Five for Bookshops initiative to help bring customers back to independent bookshops.

I popped in for a book, and came out with a book and £5 off my next one. How cool is that!

It’s a little less straightforward than using a normal gift token, so if you happen upon one, make sure you follow the instructions so your indie shop benefits. It took a couple of minutes to enter the code online and select the bookshop which had given me the voucher. No signing up or logging in. I’ve already ordered the book I’m going to buy, but it’s not out until August 😦

How is your town/city faring now lock down is easing? Are you venturing out, or remaining home a while longer?

Personally, I’m hanging around my local area. I don’t plan on travelling anywhere just yet. I’m pretty confident that our town’s infection rates are low and residents are adhering to social distancing protocols. I even sat inside a coffee shop the other day, which felt weird after so long… But the mocha I had was beyond perfection!

7 thoughts on “High Five for Bookshops

    1. I suppose chain shops are better than nothing. Most chains started at indies which grew larger.

      It’s sad that indies are so few and far between. I can count 3 in my 50 mile radius. The two closest, largest cities don’t have any – and they could certainly accommodate them as they’re both university cities.


  1. Hi Annalisa – I’ll keep a look out for the National Book Tokens when I go into Waterstones … Camilla’s is a second-hand store … but I’m always supportive. Eastbourne is relatively relaxed … I’ve used M&S – before the crowds pour in … had some vouchers – so used those. I’m just getting what I need and avoiding any crowds …and public transport – glad to see you’re staying safe. Take care – Hilary

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    1. I think you’re doing the right thing – this isn’t a time for browsing in shops. In and out sounds about right. The vouchers are for independent bookshops, so sadly I think Waterstones will miss out.

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  2. We’re fortunate here too, in having a local bookshop. It’s reopened, but I’m not yet going in any shops (or anywhere else) unless it’s essential. I might feel happier about that when everyone covers their face.

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    1. I’m being cautious, but also reassured by the measures put in place in the shops and the respect people are having for each other. Even without Covid keeping people away, our town is relatively quiet 🙂

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  3. I ventured into our local Half Price Book store (it’s a chain, but they do a really nice job with lots of reading programs in the community) a few weeks ago. It was weird and rather quiet. I did a brisk walk around,grabbed a book or two (and they have very nice note cards), paid and left. I want to support them so they stay open. I think they’ve done okay with online orders and curbside pickups.

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