Item in today’s news:
This is the seventh year running in which the number of independent booksellers in the UK has fallen. The UK boasted 1,535 independent bookstores in 2005, a third of which have now closed as booksellers struggle with the pressures of recession and competition from Amazon and the supermarkets.
“Closures are always painful and we were saddened to see many bookshops closing last year. The balance of risk in bookselling has changed for good and now sits disproportionately with the bookseller,” said Tim Godfray, chief executive of the Booksellers Association. “Bookshops are important community and cultural hubs, which also provide an important educational resource for all. Sadly, the overall picture in terms of the number of independent booksellers in the UK is still one of contraction.” (The Guardian)
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There’s one little bit of good news though:
39 bookshops opened last year. Children’s bookshops are also “bucking the trend” of decline, according to the association, with no reported closures in 2012 and the opening of two new shops. Brentwood’s Chicken and Frog and Crouch End’s Pickled Pepper are both “breathing new life into their high streets”, said the organisation. “New and emerging booksellers … are kicking down barriers and fighting back,” said Godfray.