Tuesday, May 23, 2006

In Praise of Local Bookshops

(Getting relaxed at David's during World Book Day)
I read an interesting article in The Guardian yesterday about popular local bookshops which are not part of a chain, such as Waterstone's.
So I thought I would wax lyrical about David's Bookshops in Letchworth, Hertfordshire, which is near where I live and is my local as it were!
David's started in 1963 and is a family firm. It consists of one bookshop, one music store, and one gift and children's bookshop across the road. I have been a fan since I was in my early teens and frequently browse there. In fact I probably will in the brief time between updating my blog in this lovely coffee shop and heading into work (which is conveniently just around the corner from David's).
It is also imaginative in what it does. Every year it participates fully in World Book Day, which regular readers may remember me blogging on, and also runs a series of debates which attracts a large crowd. Usually these debating meetings take place at the Friends Meeting House in the suburban part of town and we have had guest speakers as diverse as from Lavinia Byrne, to Peter Hitchens and Frederick Forsyth.
This is not downgrading the big stores, which I frequently browse through in London alongside the one's in Charing Cross Road, but David's is wonderfully unique and long may it live!

1 comment:

daybo2 said...

Nice to see a supporter of local bookshops. I'm new at this game and have just started a blog under the heading 'Local Bookshops'. Your favourite, David's Bookshop, has a website provided by our company (The Book Partnership) whose aim is to get all independent shops online under one umbrella and give them a fighting chance.. We are about to update our portal site, wwww.localbookshops.co.uk, and are in the process of linking with another campaign to help promote the independents. Whilst we are a commercial organisation and obviously have a vested interest, it's still good to hear individuals lending their support.