A record year for submissions has led to the highest ever number of regional shortlisted entries in this year’s British Book Industry Awards (BBIA) Independent Bookshop of the Year (IBOTY) category, sponsored by Gardners Books.
In total, 34 indies will face off in seven regions for the 2016 gongs. Regional winners, to be announced on 4th March, will vie for the overall crown, to be given out at the BBIA gala awards ceremony in London on 9th May. Gardners will once again present the overall winner with a £5,000 prize to be put towards the running of their shop.
Two stores have a chance for consecutive regional wins: 2015 Scotland champion The Edinburgh Bookshop, and Regency Bookshop in Surbiton, which won the London region last year. Torbay Bookshop from Paignton in the South-West is the only shortlistee to have ever taken home the overall award, winning in 2006.
First-time shortlistees include Edinburgh’s Golden Hare Books, Corbridge’s Forum Books in the North region, and two from London: comics powerhouse Forbidden Planet and radical bookseller Housmans.
Wales has the highest number of shortlistees (three) it has had in the award’s history: Crickhowell’s Book-ish, The Chepstow Bookshop and the Monmouth branch of Rossiter Books. In Ireland, County Wicklow punches above its weight with the Blessington Book Store and Bridge Street Bookshop squaring off in the region for the second consecutive year.
The full list of independent bookshops shortlisted in the regional category is below:
The Blessington Book Store, Wicklow
Bridge Street Bookshop, Wicklow
Charlie Byrne’s Bookshop, Galway
Atkinson-Pryce Books, Biggar
The Bookmark, Grantown-on-Spey
The Edinburgh Bookshop, Edinburgh
Far from the Madding Crowd, Linlithgow
Golden Hare Books, Edinburgh
The Book Case, Hebden Bridge
Cogito Books, Hexham
Forum Books, Corbridge
The Little Ripon Bookshop, Ripon
The White Rose Book Café, Thirsk
The Book Shop Liskeard, Liskeard
Sarum College Bookshop, Salisbury
St Ives Bookseller, St Ives
The Torbay Bookshop, Paignton
Winstone’s Books, Sherborne
Forbidden Planet, Covent Garden
Housmans, King’s Cross
The London Review Bookshop, Bloomsbury
Pages of Hackney, Hackney
Regency Bookshop, Surbiton
Stanfords, Covent Garden
South-East and East
The Book Hive, Norwich
Chapter One Books, Reading
The Haslemere Bookshop, Haslemere
Wilgress Books, Lincoln
Midlands and Wales
The Bookshop, Kibworth
The Chepstow Bookshop, Chepstow
Five Leaves Bookshop, Nottingham
Rossiter Books, Monmouth and Ross-on-Wye
Wenlock Books, Much Wenlock