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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:

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“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.”

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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

He concludes:

“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.”

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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Sadly, local shops cannot sell as cheaply as the supermarkets!

none given

depends what you are looking for. Specialty subjects and harder to find titles won’t be in supermarkets.


Unfortunately this man has the support of the majority here. He’s a millionaire and his flock are rich mostly retired with multiple fat pensions. They don’t care how much anything is, they all drive 40k + cars and don’t have a clue of how much the fuel is they put in their 300 horse power carbon busting chariots of fire. They don’t gaf about climate change, they are Brexit racists and would rather pay double the price in a snobby book shop than tell their comrades they got it for a song online.

none given

@foggy – sounds like you are jealous of their success in life and a bitter remoaner who cannot handle the fact that you lost the referendum vote. That is democracy in action – leave means leave, whether you like it or not. Had the referendum result gone the other way, remoaners like you would have been shouting from the rooftops about how the people had spoken, democracy in action, never to be repeated, motion carried, result set in stone, suck it up losers etc etc. well it didn’t go the other way, so I refer you to the paragraph above.… Read more »

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