Eight independent bookshops have been shortlisted for The Bookseller Industry Awards Independent Bookseller of the Year Award, sponsored by Gardners, after being named regional winners this week.
The award, which comes with a £5,000 cash prize, will be announced at The Bookseller Industry Awards, which takes place on 13th May at the Hilton, Park Lane, London.
Linghams Bookshop in the Wirral was selected as the Northern winner, with Simply Books highly commended. In the Midlands and Wales, the winning outlet was Octavia’s Bookshop, based in Cirencester, with the Oswestry-based Booka highly commended. In the South East, Chapter One from Woodley was selected as the winner, with The Hungerford Bookshop highly commended.
In London, Dulwich Books picked up the regional award. In the South West, for the first time, the judges picked joint winners, the Falmouth Bookshop and Winstone’s in Sherborne.
In Ireland, O’Mahony’s Limerick bookshop was selected as the regional winnner in the first year it has entered the awards. Former regional winner The Gutter Bookshop was highly commended.
Atkinson-Pryce Books, based in Biggar, Scotland, was named regional winner, drawn from a shortlist that also included The Edinburgh Bookshop, The Bookmark, and the Bridge Bookshop in the Isle of Man (included in the Scottish region for logistical purposes).
The regional winners were selected from shortlists that included more than 30 individual bookshops. The judges were Gardners’ UK field sales manager Roy Jones and the wholesaler’s sales director Garry Elwood, plus Philip Jones, editor of The Bookseller.
Jones said: “It was an incredibly high standard of entries once again, and in some instances the gap between winning and coming second was tissue-paper thin. In the case of the Falmouth Bookshop and Winstone’s, the difference between the two was just so marginal we decided to make both winners.”
The eight regional winners will contest the top prize, with judging due to take place on 5th April.