IBW2021: Katie Ginger on why every town needs a bookshop

Katie Ginger, author of The Secrets of Meadow Farmhouse, tells us why every town needs a bookshop in this fantastic blog post for Independent Bookshop Week.

Every town needs a bookshop

When I was around ten, every weekend was spent in my favourite place in my tiny hometown: a bookshop. It was just down from the seafront, and always had boxes of books outside as well as shelves full of them indoors.

When I look back now, one of the things I loved most about it was the amazing variety it stocked. The children’s section was enormous, taking up the whole back wall, and through the course of the summer I read my way through the entire Point Horror series (which might sound a bit weird, considering I now write romance novels!). At a time when I was being bullied at school, retreating into another world every weekend and forgetting about the real one, kept me sane.

As I got older, I still visited this amazing bookshop buying whatever book took my fancy. As I found my love of history, I was always surprised by the variety of topics and picked up some unusual but interesting reads I never knew I fancied. Thanks to that bookshop I’ve read books on Victorian spiritualism, art history, diaries of World War One generals and even books on alchemy!

When this tiny but amazing store closed, I was actually a little heartbroken. It left my wonderful hometown without a bookshop (until Waterstones opened a sweet little branch in 2017). No one was going to experience the amazing escapism I found in those overflowing walls. No child would drag their parents along desperate to spend their pocket money. No one would look forward to the prospect of losing themselves in an American high school or visiting the eighteenth century for an adventure.

Discover a million new worlds

You see, that’s what bookshops do: they offer an escape from the world and the possibility of discovering a million more. They offer a respite from our troubles and a chance for our minds to find hope in the pages of a book. Without them, so many people aren’t going to experience the delicious joy of choosing a story that has already gripped their imagination, holding it in their hands and falling into something magical.

Quite simply, every town needs a bookshop!

Want to read more bookshop memories from some of your favourite authors? Click here.

Discover Katie Ginger’s latest novel The Secrets of Meadow Farmhouse today, available from your local bookshop or on bookshop.org.

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