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SPONSOR


DESCRIPTION


Gardners has been involved as an integral link in the book supply chain for over 


INDEPENDENT BOOKSHOP OF THE YEAR BOOK–ISH


THE SHORTLIST


WINNER Book–ish 


Button & Bear  Bookshop





Hunting Raven Books  The Book Hive The Book Shop


The Lighthouse Bookshop


T


he modest sign on the front of Book- ish in Crickhowell reads: “Books, conversation and more”, but this bookseller does much, much more


than one might expect of a high-street bookshop. Emma Corfield-Walters’ store in the small town at the edge of the Brecon Beacons had its best ever year in 2019, with superb service, imagina- tive book buying, great promotions and lively social media. But sales through the till were just the start of the story. Book-ish put on over 100 events, including


at the sixth Crickhowell Literary Festival which attracted 2,500 people in 2019. The events space in the loft of its shop hosted five book clubs, including one for teenagers, and two writing clubs, plus regular film and games nights and meetings of many community groups. Initiatives added to the mix in 2019 included a new kids’ book festival and a YouTube channel.


11


Book-ish’s invention continued through the


coronavirus crisis. The closure of the shop led it to sustain itself through online sales and book subscription service to its loyal customers, and it joined forces with three other indies to put on a host of Facebook-based author events. Crickhowell, voted High Street of the Year in 2018, is better placed than most towns to bounce back from the pandemic, and Book-ish will be leading the revival. “The scope of what Emma and the team have achieved is extraordinary,” said the judges. “It’s a great bookshop that does everything right, but it’s so much more besides —a true community hub that has a spirit of huge commitment to both the Crickhowell community and to indie bookselling.” As well as the Independent Bookshop of the


Year title, Book-ish receives £5,000 to support its bookselling from sponsor Gardners. It was one of nine regional winners of this award.


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