In advance of the Isle of Wight Literary Festival, Bob Seely has called on Islanders to support local bookshops.
The Island’s MP has said that the ongoing success of the festival shows interest in literature and reading is as strong as ever, but that traditional small bookstores are increasingly coming under threat from online providers and non-specialist outlets like supermarkets.
Bob has said:
“It is these smaller local stores that offer not just a good selection of books, but the staff have a unique experience, knowledge and passion for books and literature.
“These shops also provide a social hub as well as contributing to the fabric of our town centres. It is too easy to browse the internet and purchase online and forget that there are smaller independent retailers right on our doorstep that offer excellent choice and value.”
His comments have been echoed by local bookstores.
Mark Sames, from Ryde Bookshop in Ryde High Street, says:
“We were established in 1988, we have over 100,000 books in ten rooms on three floors. There are both second hand and new books on virtually every subject, so we are able to offer great choice and excellent value. Why browse virtually on the internet when you can browse for real – and walk away there and then with your book of choice. We are open seven days a week including bank holidays.”
Margaret Norris from Books2Love in Pyle Street Newport adds:
“’Customers love to browse in this old-fashioned bookshop with knowledgeable staff giving a personal service and a huge selection of books both new and second-hand to choose from. Toasted teacakes and a variety of coffee -what’s not to like?”
Les Sklaroff of Cameron House Books in Freshwater Bay comments:
“Cameron House Books, established for more than 25 years, is located in the former home of Julia Margaret Cameron, the pioneer portrait photographer.
“You will find here a wide-ranging stock of quality second-hand books in most subject areas, including archaeology, crime fiction, children’s books, poetry, photography and philosophy.
“The main emphasis is on literature (from George Buchanan to Alice Oswald) and illustrated books (special collections include Mervyn Peake, Charles Keeping, Michael Ayrton and Eric Fraser).”
Bob has also paid tribute to the IW Literary Festival which runs at Northwood House, Cowes between 10th-13th October. Full details at https://isleofwightliteraryfestival.com/.
“We are extremely fortunate to have a festival that has quickly become one of the major events in the UK’s literary calendar. This is down to the efforts of a small but dedicated and knowledgeable group of people with the support of many organisations and businesses.
“This year’s event will once again ensure reading and books continue to entertain, inspire and inform and I hope the interest in literature the event instils and stimulates will lead to even more people supporting our local bookshops.”