Author Betsy Tobin and artist Tessa Shaw are to open Ink@84, the “independent bookshop of the future” in London's Highbury next month.
The "stunning architect-designed" shop will open in Highbury, Islington and will feature dedicated retail and café areas and free wi-fi. The shop will sell "highly curated" front-list literary fiction and non-fiction with the "best" new commercial releases.
The shop will also sell "outstanding" coffee from Shoreditch microbrewers Nude Coffe and a bespoke selection of wines and microbrews from Highbury Vintners.
The shop will host a "wide range" of author events, including free readings promoting up-and-coming authors and debuts, weekend morning children’s events, and evening writing workshops led by authors.
Tobin and Shaw said: “We aim to create a highly-curated destination venue: a beautiful, accessible and welcoming space to bring readers and writers together to fuel their love of books and of reading.”
They added: “With 206,000 people, Islington is one of the most densely populated borough in England, and we strongly suspect that it has more writers per square foot than anywhere in the UK. In spite of this, it remains woefully under-serving for book lovers. We are one of the only communities in North or East London that does not support a general independent bookshop. From early December, Ink@84 will remedy that.”
Tobin is the author of five novels including, Bone House (Headline) which was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize and Crimson China (Short Books), a Radio 4 Book-at-Bedtime, which is now in development to be a feature film with the BFI. Her most recent book Things We Couldn’t Explain was published by Accent Press last year.
Shaw is an artist and photographer who has presented the BBC2 design programme "Home Front" and worked as a reporter on both BBC Radio 4’s "Women’s Hour" and Channel 4 series "Critical Eye".
The Chiswick Bookshop, another independent, opened earlier this month run by publisher Hyde Park Editions and two tech entrepreneurs behind Shoreditch's Second Home are to open an 830sq ft "experiential" independent bookshop to attact millennials next month in London's Brick Lane too.