I want a bookshop

edited March 2011 in Local discussion
I've been reading about the travails of the Big Green Bookshop in Wood Green (http://woodgreenbookshop.blogspot.com) and much as I hope they survive, I'd love someone to open a bookshop like it round here.

Beacon is great, but it's a specialist bookshop and Prospero were driven out by high rents. What would we have to do to get one of the empty shops turned into a bookshop?
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Comments

  • edited March 2011
    The fact that the Big Green Bookshop is struggling, and it is in the centre of Wood Green with plenty of people passing by every day, is probably testament to how difficult it is to run a bookshop nowadays.

    The MIND charity shop has a pretty good selection of books, as do the various charity shops on Seven Sisters Road. The best of all is the big Oxfam in Dalston.
  • edited November -1
    And BGB is well under an hour away by foot - less for people who live deep in Stroud Green proper. I tend to think of it as my local bookshop, and did even before Prospero's (which for me never lived up to its name) went under.
    (I especially like the BGB quiz, even if I didn't win it last time I went)
  • edited November -1

    What would we need to do to get a bookshop open here?

    Hmmm. Buy real books (not ebooks) from a bookshop instead of online is the obvious answer.

    Having worked for independent bookshops and chain bookstores I can tell you that it's extremely hard to make money from running a bookshop, retail rents are high and the profit margins are low. Many people use a bookshop as a place to entertain their children and then leave without buying anything or to look at books that they like and then go and buy them online. I'd be surprised if anyone in SG (which as we know houses a reasonable number of literate and educated folk) spends more than £30 a month in an actual real life bookshop. Sadly with rents at around £1200 a month exc other overheads it's just not viable.

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  • edited November -1

    ... Which pretty much proves my point. People just aren't willing to spend money on books any more.

  • edited November -1
    The Blackstock road second hand place is great, as is OWL in Kentish Town and Walden books in Chalk Farm.

    Oh well. I promise if someone did open one in stroud green I'd spend £30 a month there. Now all we need is to find another hundred or so people
  • edited November -1

    I love Ripping Yarns, and I used Walden Books when I worked at Chalk Farm Bus Garage. Why doesn't anyone open a tea shop with a book selling area at the side. Tea, cakes and a good read, Bliss.

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  • edited November -1

    You'd need a very strict rule that no one was allowed to take a book into the tea shop without buying it. Otherwise you'd have people taking up tables all day without spending more than the price of a cuppa. I'd love to have a bookshop, I'd run it like Black Books.

  • edited November -1
    It's not just the high rents, its the rates as well that stiffy up the chances of a bookshop surviving.... the economic health of a High Street can be measured by how many charity shops there are (they get massive discounts on their rates). It always surprised there wasn't one in the Green Lanes stretch up to Turnpike lane.. but one opened last year. It has a reasonable book section with fair prices and not just clean paperbacks - I was amazed and annoyed that the MIND shop in SGR refused to take old books - "Too dusty, health and safety". They clean the clothes before they put them out, don't they?
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  • edited November -1
    I do hate how many charity shops now won't take old books for one misguided reason or another. It just leaves their offerings looking the same as the high street bookshops which look the same as the supermarkets which all have stuff I can get easily enough online. I want bonkers old memoirs and monographs I'd never even known existed until I see them and have to have them, dammit!
  • edited November -1

    www.readitswapit.co.uk has become my bookshop over the last few weeks. Cheaper than a second hand bookshop/charity shop and provides an opportunity to get rid of my old stuff.

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  • edited November -1
    Simply because that's absurd, doesn't mean it's not the rules under which they labour. Whenever I fly, I find myself looking around the cabin at all the things people have on their person that could be weaponised a damn sight easier than confiscated tweezers...
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  • edited November -1

    I never knew you have to get new knitting needles every now and again. Do they wear off? How?

  • edited March 2011
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  • edited November -1

    If what you're bothered about is the charity making as much money as it can, you'll be satisfied to know that by not stocking every single little bit of crap, and focussing on stuff that sells, it will make more money for the charity.

    The key measure of a charity shop's financial success is how quickly it can turn over its stock. It turns over stock if it has stuff in it people want. People who shop in charity shops (mostly) want good cheap clothes and second hand books.

    If you want donated knitting needles, I imagine putting a general call out on here would turn up a stack of them.

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  • edited November -1
    The Lexington hosts swapping events (under the slightly embarrassing banner of 'Swishes') every few months. The next one (a week tomorrow) is clothes - and the last one was great for girls' stuff, less so for boys. But they do also run book and CD/vinyl swaps, where you have to take at least three (iirc) items and can then take away up to 15, all for no charge. Anything nobody wants on the day, goes to charity.
  • edited November -1
    Okay, so if I can't have a bookshop then how about this: http://portablebookshop.com/

    Any Stroud green business care to get involved?
  • edited November -1

    I like that and I love that they are asking for recommendations. Definitely going to get involved. http://portablebookshop.com/

  • edited November -1
    Thanks for the link Miss Annie.
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  • edited November -1
    It's really nice to find out that that bloke I always see in crouch end is not just a mad pirate...
  • edited November -1
    POrtable book shop; let's have it at the sugar lounge
  • edited November -1
    Shame about the bookshop in CE closing, definitely going to place a few orders through BGB.
  • edited November -1
    Oh, the mad pirate was at the Hornsey Library event on World Book Night! My friend spoke to him and apparently he was insisting he wasn't a pirate or a highwayman, just in 18th century dress. Which is slightly disingenuous given the fabrics, colour scheme &c, and reminds me a little too much of the standard goth defence on why exactly they're not goths...
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