Big Green Bookshop half-way to fundraising target

The Big Green Bookshop has raised nearly half of its fundraising target to secure its future at the beginning of its appeal week.

Owners of the London independent bookshop, Simon Key and Tim West, appealed to 1,000 loyalty card-holding customers 10 days ago to buy one extra book during this week (6-12th March), the same week the shop celebrates its third birthday.

The owners issued the appeal to customers through the Wood Green bookshop’s newsletter, and confirmed today that 43% of what they need to raised has already been achieved.

However, Key said there is still a way to go yet. "We have had a difficult nine months and we can not have another nine like the last so we wanted to raise our plight before things got terminal, " he said.

"The response has been completely overwhelming. The next day (after the appeal was issued) I was up until 1am replying to people’s generous emails. People have come in to buy books, people have donated online—even people in America have supported us who have never been to the shop before. It makes me very happy to know that what we have been doing in the last three years has been worth it to the community. It would be great if it continued this week."

Key said that the day after the appeal was emailed, three times as many customers bought books from the shop, and footfall also increased. The retailer also said 45 people expressed an interest in joining a committee to advise the outlet, which holds community events such as author readings, musical events, knitting groups, poetry readings and children's story-tellings, on where to improve.

The shop grew from the ashes of the closed Wood Green Waterstone's branch, and was opened by Key and West, former Waterstone's managers, with redundancy money and a "large loan" from the bank.

This loan is the store's "biggest single outgoing" each month and the owners have nine months to pay it off.

The shop's website, where customers can donate online, is http://woodgreenbookshop.blogspot.com.