Support Your Local Bookshop!

You will probably recall my recent post concerning my frustration with bookshops stocking books that I actually want to read – if you don’t, you can read it here. But I wanted to share a couple of very positive experiences that I had over the last couple of days – and luckily, for me at least, these were in local shops.

The first occurred in Waterstones in Southport. I had some time to kill, so I popped in and browsed around the crime fiction department, composing in my head a blog post concerning the authors that they didn’t stock. One of the staff asked what I was looking for, so I replied Paul Doherty – my current minor obsession – see here and here. She was very helpful and we eventually found a copy of The Mysterium, the most recent paperback featuring Sir Hugh Corbett, admittedly in the non-crime section. But all the while, we were
chatting about the sort of books that they were, and the result was, as it happened she was in charge of the crime section, that she intends to look into ordering some of his books and displaying them with a “If you like CJ Sansom, try this” display. Result. Hopefully a) I can pick up some of his books that I don’t have coming from my Abebooks splurge and b) other people can pick them up too. As I said before, you need a pebble to start an avalanche.

The second occurred in Pritchard’s in Formby. Unfortunately it’s closing soon, but it will be reopening as Formby Books and I have every intention of regularly shopping there, budget allowing. I picked up a copy of Christopher Fowler’s latest Bryant and May novel – also not spotted in some larger shops – a couple of days earlier and saw an advert for Kate Ellis signing her books, and as such, I now am the proud possessor of a signed copy of The Jackal Man. I would heartily recommend this store to anyone in the Merseyside area – or beyond, if you fancy a trip – or you can visit their website. There are a number of upcoming author visits, including on August 18th, at the Southport Flower Show, they will be hosting a session featuring both Kate Ellis and Martin Edwards – highly recommended.

Anyway, both of these occurrences reminded me of how much I enjoy browsing in actual shops, rather than the online experience. May I recommend that a) you visit your local bookshop this week, and b) talk to someone there about the sort of thing you’d like them to stock (if it’s in print, of course). You never know, they might just listen to you…


  1. The upcoming Bryant and May is apparently being released in Canada in March 2012… Huh. Well, now I know what I’ll be reading when the world ends.

    When I don’t shop at my local second-hand bookstores, I support my independant seller, especially when it comes to books currently in print that I get from The Langtail Press, Rue Morgue Press, or the like. Chapters, our mega-chain of bookstores, is not helpful at all. The price you see at home is not the in-store price, it’s the “online price”. Imagine my surprise to discover that when I walked into one of those stores for the first time in years, and then to find that the computer lied about a Rex Stout book being on the shelves… My independant seller usually hasn’t got what I want on the shelves, but at least I can order it. With Chapters, your best bet is to try online– and for that, I might as well go to abebooks and get better deals.


  2. In terms of the Fowler, I meant “… Off The Rails” which has been out over here for a while but has recently arrived in paperback – I’m a bit behind. But we do get “…Memory of Blood” in hardback about 8 months before you, I’m afraid. Sorry.


  3. IF ever in Minneapolis (MN) you must go to Raven awrd winning Once Upon A Crime—It is a enthusiasts and collectors treasure trove to say the least!!


    • I’ll certainly do that. When in the States, I’ve visited a few specialist crime fiction shops. My favourites were in New York. I forget their names, but there was one a couple of blocks west of Central Park and one a couple of blocks east of it. I crossed the park about three times and eventually flew home with about twenty five second hand Carr novels in my suitcase. Weight limits on luggage were more generous then!


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