Independent bookshops have been praised by authors as “oases of intellectual and physical comfort” as the Independent Bookshop Week Book Award nominees have been released.
Author Rose Tremain, who is nominated in the adult category for The Gustav Sonata (Vintage) “saluted” indie bookshops as “heroes” for bouncing back after suffering “hard knocks”, following the recession, entrance of e-books and decline of the high street.
“Independent booksellers are heroes of our time,” she said. “Suffering several hard knocks, many have not only kept going, but recharacterised themselves as oases of intellectual and physical comfort; adding coffee counters, open fires and soft chairs, where books can be browsed in perfect peace. I salute them all.”
Tremain is competing against the likes of Sebastian Barry’s Costa Prize-winning Days Without End (Faber), Sarah Perry’s The Essex Serpent (Serpent’s Tail), Frances Spufford’s Golden Hill (Faber), and The Good Immigrant, edited by Nikesh Shukla (Unbound), among other titles.
Nominee for the children’s category, Zana Fraillon, who is shortlisted for The Bone Sparrow (Hachette Children’s), credited her local independent bookshop with nurturing and her love of reading as a child. “With books waiting for me each week, hand-picked by the most knowledgeable of staff, I couldn't help but fall in love with stories,” she said. “It is now my favourite pastime to lose myself in the many bookshops that dot our cities, each one different, each one promising - and delivering - my next wonderful read. Independent bookshops allow readers to find the books written just for them.”
Fraillon is competing with Emily Barr’s The One Memory of Flora Banks (Penguin Random House Children’s), Frank Cottrell Boyce’s Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth (Macmillan Children’s) and Katherine Rundell’s The Wolf Wilder (Bloomsbury Children’s), among other titles, in the kids category.
Illustrator Jim Field meanwhile expressed sadness that so many independent bookshops have closed down. There are now 876 indie bookshops in the UK, down from 1,535 in 2005, The Bookseller reported in March.
Field, who is nominated in the picturebook category for Oi Dog! (Hodder Children’s) written by Kes Gray and Claire Gray and illustrated by him, said: “I love independent bookshops, where you can always find hidden treasures. It’s very sad that so many have disappeared from our high streets. The success of the Oi series is due to word of mouth recommendation thanks to the knowledge of independent booksellers. I’m hugely grateful for all the support and whatever the result, it’s fantastic to be shortlisted.”
He is vying the IBW Book Award in the picture book category aloing with Rob Biddulph’s Odd Dog Out (HarperCollins Childrens), Julia Donaldson & Sara Ogilvie’s The Detective Dog (Macmillan Children’s) and Kate Pankhurts’s Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World (Bloomsbury Children’s), among others.
The IBW Book Awards are coordinated by The Booksellers Association of UK and Ireland (BA) and judged by a panel of authors, booksellers and journalists. The three winners in the adult, children’s and picture book categories will be announced on Friday 23rd June, the day before the start of this year’s IBW.
Bookshops will be supporting the 32 shortlisted titles during IBW through POS materials in stores.
The full list of shortlisted titles is below.
The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes (Vintage)
Days Without End by Sebastian Barry (Faber & Faber)
Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari (Vintage)
When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi (Vintage)
This Must Be The Place by Maggie O'Farrell (Tinder Press)
The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry (Serpent's Tail)
The Good Immigrant edited by Nikesh Shukla (Unbound)
Golden Hill by Frances Spufford (Faber & Faber)
The Running Hare: The Secret Life of Farmland by John Lewis-Stempel (Transworld)
The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain (Vintage)
The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr (Penguin Random House Children's)
Sputnik's Guide to Life on Earth by Frank Cottrell Boyce (Macmillan Children's Books)
Cogheart by Peter Bunzl (Usborne Children’s Books)
Strange Star by Emma Carroll (Faber & Faber)
The Shadow Keeper by Abi Elphinstone (Simon & Schuster Children's UK)
A Poem for Every Night of the Year by Allie Esiri (Macmillan Children's Books)
The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon (Hodder Children's Books)
How Not to Disappear by Clare Furniss (Simon & Schuster Children's)
The 78-Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths; illustrated by Terry Denton (Macmillan Children's Books)
The Wolf Wilder by Katherine Rundell (Bloomsbury Children's Books)
Saint Death by Marcus Sedgwick (Orion Children's Books)
The Painted Dragon by Katherine Woodfine (Egmont)
PICTURE BOOK CATEGORY
Odd Dog Out by Rob Biddulph (HarperCollins Children’s Books)
The Storm Whale in Winter by Benji Davies (Simon & Schuster)
The Detective Dog by Julia Donaldson & Sara Ogilvie (Macmillan Children's Books)
The Covers of My Book Are Too Far Apart! by Vivian French; illustrated by Nigel Baines (Barrington Stoke)
Oi Dog! by Kes Gray and Claire Gray; illustrated by Jim Field (Hodder Children's Books)
Tidy by Emily Gravett (Macmillan Children's Books)
The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield; illustrated by The Fan Brothers (Macmillan Children's Books)
Are You Sitting Comfortably? by Leigh Hodgkinson (Bloomsbury Children's Books)
Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World by Kate Pankhurst (Bloomsbury Children's Books)
There's a Tiger in the Garden by Lizzy Stewart (Frances Lincoln Children's Books)
Bee: Nature’s Tiny Miracle by Britta Teckentrup (Little Tiger Kids)
A Beginner's Guide to Bear Spotting by Michelle Robinson; illustrated by David Roberts (Bloomsbury Children's Books)