Don't Pan-ic

<p><a href="http://www.thebookseller.com/news/48254-macmillan-to-close-pan-bookshop.... last week's news that the Pan Bookshop was closing after 32 years trading in Fulham Road</a>, was followed by the inevitable comments from on high&mdash;'. . . tough market conditions . . . blah blah blah . . . decline in overall trading in Independent bookshop . . . blah blah blah . . . haven't had the margins to compete . . . blah blah blah'&mdash;you would have thought there'd be a general throwing up of arms and gnashing of teeth among other bookshops. Not so . . .</p>
<p>I, for one (and I'm certainly not the only one) think the decision to close is awful. It wasn't the word I used on our <a href="http://woodgreenbookshop.blogspot.com/ ">blog</a>, but it'll do. It's lazy, uninspiring, short sighted and plain wrong. Lazy, because it seems like the kind of thing a spoilt child would do to a toy they get bored of. Uninspiring, because despite claims that many options to keep the store open have been explored, doing a 3 for 2, having a sale or having author signings really doesn't seem to be anything striking. Short sighted, because there is quite clearly a huge market, which for whatever reason they've been unable to capture. And plain wrong, because I'm sure that given a little more freedom and inspiration, the shop could have thrived in this cash rich area.</p>
<p>I always wondered how independent the shop was, but now there's a real opportunity for some wise entrepreneur or two to open their own truly independent bookshop in a site nearby, where the rents are less obscene, and be able to reignite the thirst for books in the area. It should be even more tempting, after the dreadful <a href="http://www.thebookseller.com/news/48368-waterstones-closes-first-ever-br... that the first ever Waterstone's to open in Old Brompton Road is also closing</a>.</p>
<p>So, for what it's worth, here's my advice. Start a petition for a decent bookshop, get in touch with the local press, organise a demonstration, check out the shop's P and L, find a site, start a blog and take the plunge. Think of all those celebs you could get to the launch. It's not Wood Green, but you can't have everything.</p>