Hooray for Hayling Island Bookshop

Independent Booksellers Week kicks off on 1 July and runs until 8 July and I would like to say a little something in support of my local bookshop on Hayling Island where I will be signing copies of my novels, including the paperback version of Deadly Waters, on Saturday 5 July between 11am and 12.00 noon. This little something has appeared in my local newspaper The News on the Letters page and in The Bookseller magazine. All too often we complain and criticise so I thought it was about time some praise was due.

"I fully endorse Independent Booksellers Week to celebrate the role that Indies play in the community and am immensely grateful as an author to those bookshops that have supported me. But I don’t think anyone can top my local independent bookshop, The Hayling Island Bookshop for sheer commitment to the community. Marie and Colin Telford ( in the picture above) are a breath of fresh air in our island community. Here are just a few of the things they do:

Organise flower baskets to brighten up our village centre in the summer
Organise the Scarecrow Festival culminating in prize giving at our summer carnival
Take mobile bookshops to a number of unusual and exciting venues around the region (including my marathon book-signing on the Wightlink ferry)
Attract major authors to our small island like Jacqueline Wilson, Gervase Phinn, Kate Mosse
Give huge support to local authors like myself, Dee Williams, Ali Sparkes, Craig Simpson
Give guidance, advice and encouragement to those who wish to self-publish
Provide a listening service to anyone in need of someone to talk to – and visitors don’t even have to buy a book)
Deliver not only books but also shop for those who are housebound.

I could go on. And what’s more they do all this with a smile and never a grumble. They always have time for everyone no matter who or what they are to the point that they hardly get any time for themselves. Without them our community would be a much bleaker place. "

Three cheers for independent bookshops. Long may they be a feature of our communities. Those of us who are lucky to have one nearby should cherish them. Use them or lose them!

The Bookseller Magazine highlights a few events around the country to celebrate Independent Booksellers Week. I hope those of you reading this will support them if you can.


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