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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

UK Children's Bookshops surviving the eAge

Children's bookshops are bucking a UK-wide decline, according to a new report by the Booksellers Association

Not a single children's bookshop closed in 2011, said the report, despite a steady drop in the number of independent stores, with 73 closing their doors for good.

The report added 36 new bookshops opened in the second half of the year.

The findings were revealed at the start of Independent Booksellers Week - which runs from 30 June until 7 July.

One bookseller's experience

I am slightly surprised, but the last three months have been very good. There are signs that people are spending more money on books for their children. I think we're two years into a recession and now people are aware of how much they've got to spend. A book is the same price as two cups of coffee.
I think schools are also helping with highlighting literacy. We do a lot with schools, and we do author events and events during the holidays. People are definitely supporting their local communities more, too, not just in bookshops. It could be that there is a bit of an Amazon backlash at the moment, as they don't put any money back into the community. We have a lot of local customers, I think people are realising the importance of their local bookshops.

The whole thing about a local bookshop is that it's a theatrical experience, something that customers wouldn't get if they bought something online. We're doing crafts, stationery and a lot of Tintin products to go with the books. The parents can have tea and cake and sit with their children while they choose what book they want. It's an enjoyable experience.
Jeff Doak, Mr & Mrs Doak's Bumper Bookshop for Boys and Girls, Eastbourne, East Sussex

Children's book purchases rose slightly in 2011 by both volume and value, said the BA report, quoting research by Books And Consumer.

The increase was driven by the purchase of physical non-fiction titles, and one can't dismiss the enduring popularity of Enid Blyton et al.  And sales of the Hunger Games trilogy certainly didn't hurt. 

2012's bestselling children's books so far

  • 1) The Hunger Games Trilogy: The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
  • 2) The Hunger Games Trilogy: Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins
  • 3) The Hunger Games Trilogy: Mockingjay - Suzanne Collins
  • 4) War Horse - Michael Morpurgo
  • 5) Theodore Boone: The Abduction - John Grisham
  • 6) Where's Wally Now? - Martin Handford
  • 7) Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth - Jeff Kinney
  • 8) The What the Ladybird Heard Song - Julia Donaldson
  • 9) Roald Dahl's Fantabulous Facts (World Book Day) - Roald Dahl
  • 10) Big Day Out - Jacqueline Wilson

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