Mostly Books in Abingdon has been sold to new owner Sarah Dennis, who has held a “long ambition” to run her own book business.
Mark and Nicki Thornton have owned Mostly Books for the last 11 years, and will move on to other projects - Nicki will be published as a children’s author in 2018 with Chicken House, having won the Times/Chicken House Fiction Writing competition last year.
The couple put their bookshop up for sale two years ago, but wanted to find the “right person” to take over the shop.
Dennis is a relative newcomer to the professional book trade but says she has been a book enthusiast her whole life. She has spent some time recently working in Waterstones and at independent bookshops recently to build up her contacts in the trade.
Mark Thornton said: “When we announced our decision to sell Mostly Books over two years ago, we were very clear that we wanted to find the right person to take over the shop, and I’m thrilled and delighted that we will be handing the keys to Sarah. She is someone who we’ve got to know very well over recent months, who shares our passion and love for reading, children’s books, events and community bookselling.
“Having officially taken the keys on Friday morning, we will be working with Sarah over the next few weeks to ensure a smooth transition, to assist with some updating of the shop – and to help ensure that she has the best possible start as an independent bookseller.”
He added: “I have no doubt the future of Mostly Books is in very safe hands.”
Coming to the profession from a previous career of being a project manager in finance, Dennis was inspired by the success of The Main Street Trading Company bookshop in Scotland, owned by Rosamund and Bull de la Hey, to fulfil her ambition of running her own book business.
She said: “I had always wanted to own a bookshop but didn’t think it would ever be possible. Having heard such good comments about the shop in Scotland, I started to investigate the feasibility of setting up somewhere myself. It never crossed my mind that I would be lucky enough to find such a great business up for sale. I was sent the link about the sale of Mostly Books and immediately contacted Mark to chat about the shop. As soon as I visited for the first time, I fell in love with it and was determined to make it mine.”
Nicki Thornton added what she was “sad” to be moving on, but excited about becoming an author.
“Shortly before we opened Mostly Books another bookseller – the amazing Anna Dreda from Wenlock Books – told us that bookselling wasn’t a job, it was a privilege,” Nicki said. “She was absolutely right: we feel we have been privileged to run Mostly Books for the last decade. Mark and I would just like to thank our customers, staff and suppliers for incredible support.”
The shop will be holding an official “come and meet the new owner party” on Saturday, 24th June, coinciding with the start of Independent Bookshop Week.