A new indie bookshop is opening in Ipswich, fulfilling the lifelong dream of its owner Andrew Marsh.
Dial Lane Books will officially open on 3rd March following a launch party on 28th February.
The store will have a dedicated children’s section at the back with its own colourful mural plus a space given over to history, photography, art and architecture. It will also be a hub for Lonely Planet titles and will be supplying books from Hoxton Mini Press.
Marsh, who used to run his own security firm in London before moving to Ipswich three years ago, got the keys to the store at the start of December and has been renovating it ever since.
He explained: "I was a bit of a geek when I was in junior school. When it was playtime I used to go up into the infant school and just go and read a story. I just loved books from then.
"I always wanted to run a bookshop. I kept saying I’d do it in the future but I’m 45 now and thought if this doesn’t happen now I’m never going to do it."
The 900 sq ft store has a second floor which Marsh expects the business to grow into as time goes on. For now at least it will be used for events and by local groups of writers and poets.
Marsh said: "There’s a general buzz and excitement about a bookshop opening here. We’ve only got a Waterstones and W H Smith and loads of charity shops but there’s hasn’t been an independent bookshop here for years and years.
"That means the pressure’s on of course to live up to people’s expectations but I think I can do it."
The new shop comes after the number of independent bookshops in the UK and Ireland grew for the third consecutive year, according to new data from the Booksellers Association. As part of its annual membership survey, the BA revealed that the number of independent bookshops in BA membership at the end of 2019 grew to 890 shops, up from 883 in 2018, and up from 868 in 2017.