Shocking figures, we have lost a quarter of our independent bookshops in the last five years.
Several factors to blame: Waterstone’s bookshop chain, supermarkets, on-line retailers, e-books.
But the main factor is massive discounting with which small bookshops cannot compete.
Jamie Oliver’s latest cookbook Jamie’s Great Britain is on sale in Sainsbury’s at £9-99, cover price £30. This is less than the trade price. Even a bookshop chain like Waterstone’s cannot match this price where it is on sale at half price, ie £15.
It was a sick joke to give Sainsbury’s an award as bookshop chain of the year. It is a supermarket that sells books.
Jamie Oliver has done much to raise food awareness. As a writer he ought now to be out there raising awareness of the plight of small bookshops before there are none left.
When the Travel Bookshop, star of the film Notting Hill, is faced with having to close, then we know independent bookshops are in trouble.
The Travel Bookshop is one of many.
Coupled with the closure of many libraries and limited hours, we will see a growing rise in illiteracy.