I opened Book Corner in 2014. I had no previous experience working in a bookshop, but I had a great love of books and creative writing, and I enjoyed my previous retail role working in an art gallery.
I think there were advantages to my lack of bookselling experience, as I opened my shop with no expectations. My first shop unit was on Station Square, and it was tiny. However, I managed to host some book signings and poetry readings and start a book group. The small space meant I could carefully choose my stock and respond quickly when I realised which types of books were most popular with my customers.
In 2017 I moved to larger premises at 24 Milton Street, where I’m still based. This allowed me to expand my stock and broaden the range of events I hosted, including writing workshops with local novelist and poet Carmen Marcus.
The pandemic and lockdown prompted me to offer home delivery and sell books online via my new online shop. I’m very grateful to my regular customers, who were hugely supportive during this challenging time.
The core of my business is still my physical high street bookshop. My best sellers are general fiction, children’s picture books, local interests, and nature writing. I’m currently doing very well with mythology and folklore, an area in which I’m expanding.
I’ve long dreamed of being able to stock my book in my bookshop, and I’m delighted that my debut novel will be published by Fairlight Books this autumn. Hopefully, this will give me a new excuse to visit some other bookshops, too! I’ve written for many years, and I’m excited to combine bookselling with being a published writer.