My debut novel, Ravencroft’s Bookshop, is heavily centred around a small independent bookstore called Ravencroft Books. During the Covid-19 Pandemic and the resulting national lockdowns, there has been a push to buy books from local independent retailers, to help their stores survive when non-essential shops were forced to close. Many created websites on which to order books, or took orders over the phone. Here are just a few independent bookstores from across the UK.
Gay’s The Word, London
Based in London, Gay’s The Word is the oldest LGBTQ+ bookshop in the UK. Set up in January 1979 by a group of gay socialists as a community space, the bookshop is not only bursting with queer books, but is also used for community events. If you are a member of the Bookstagram community on Instagram, you may have seen this bookstore featured in Bookstagram posts, or heard influencers talking about it. They also offer an online ordering service, so that you can support the bookshop no matter where you live.
For more information, please visit the Gay’s The Word website at gaystheword.co.uk.
Blackwell’s bookshop in Broad Street, Oxford, first opened its doors in 1879, and has been trading continuously ever since. It now has a chain of 30 bookshops across the country, serving not only individual customers, but also a range of libraries, universities, businesses and government departments. Blackwell’s has been featured in numerous films and books, and some employees have even gone on to become award-winning authors themselves. Blackwell’s also runs a website on which you can order books.
For more information, please visit Blackwell’s website at blackwells.co.uk.
Persephone Books, Bath
Persephone Books is not only a bookseller, but also a publisher, reprinting neglected fiction and non-fiction by mid-twentieth century women writers. The bookshop recently moved from London to Bath (around twenty minutes from my hometown), and is based in a Grade II listed building built in 1761. You can also order their books online by visiting their website.
For more information, please visit Persephone Books’ website at persephonebooks.co.uk.