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Crickhowell’s Book-ish crowned best independent bookshop in UK and Ireland

Posted on in Business News

A Powys bookshop has been named as the best independent in the UK and Ireland.



Book-ish in Crickhowell, was crowned as a winner at the British Book Awards.

It is the second time the bookshop has won the prestigious award, having previously won the 2020 Independent Bookshop of the Year Award.

This year, the shop fought off strong competition from eight other regional and country winners, selected from a bumper list of 77 finalists from across the UK and Ireland.

Book-ish has had an extraordinary year, with a successful crowdfunder enabling them to open a second shop in nearby Abergavenny.

Thanks to the team’s creative and innovative bookselling, including a focus on wide-ranging and entertaining in-store, festival and school events, sales have continued to grow in the face of a cost-of-living crisis 

Emma Corfield-Walters, founder of Book-ish said: "I’m absolutely thrilled, it’s so huge to bring it back to Crickhowell because it’s such an amazing community, it’s only 3,000 people, so it’s really really special.

"It gives me real confidence in what I do, how we do it and hopefully, the fact it’s been Welsh in three out of the four years shows, obviously we’ve got something magic happening there, so I’m thrilled, and the book community is so ridiculously supportive, you just feel the love. It doesn’t matter if you’ve won or if you’re shortlisted, there are so many amazing independent bookshops, so I just wish everyone could win!"

Tom Tivnan, The Bookseller managing editor and chair of the Independent Bookshop of the Year judges, said: “Book-ish won this award against incredibly stiff competition. On the shop floor, Book-ish ticks every box you can think of: wonderful knowledgeable staff, a gorgeous premises, expertly curated books range, a welcoming and inclusive space, a standout events stream that runs the gamut from book and hobby clubs to talks with superstar authors."

He added: "On the strategic side, it goes outside the box with clever partnerships with publishers and festivals, linkups with schools and libraries, and an expansion to a new site, aided by an innovative crowdfunding campaign.

"And there is its savvy online and social media presence which it uses to champion books and literacy to an ever-growing audience. As well as serving Crickhowell and Abergavenny, there is a feeling that Book-ish is not just a bookseller for those communities, but one of those rarest of entities: a local bookshop that can make its voice heard nationally."


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