Today marks the start of Independent Bookshop Week (IBW), and the IBW 2015 Book Award winners will feature in promotional and display materials. Three winners make up the list, and were selected by a panel of authors, sellers and journalists from shortlists of ten (Adult) and twelve (both Children's categories). The titles are:
- Adult category - The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters
It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned; the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa — a large, silent house now bereft of brothers, husband, and even servants — life is about to be transformed as impoverished widow Mrs. Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.
- Children's category - An Island of our Own by Sally Nicholls:
Siblings Jonathan, Holly and Davy have been struggling to survive since the death of their mother, and are determined to avoid being taken into care. When the family's wealthy but eccentric Great-Aunt Irene has a stroke, they go to visit her. Unable to speak or write, she gives Holly some photographs that might lead them to an inheritance that could solve all their problems. But they're not the only ones after the treasure...
- Children's Picture Book category - A Walk In Paris by Salvatore Rubbino:
Vive la France! Join a girl and her grandfather on a walking tour through Paris. Follow them as they climb to the top of Notre Dame — formidable! — sample tasty treats at bistros and pâtisseries — délicieux! — and take in a stunning view of the Eiffel Tower — magnifique! Young Francophiles and armchair travelers will be charmed by Salvatore Rubbino’s lively, sophisticated llustrations and fascinating trivia about this beloved city.
Which is great; nothing like some well-deserved awards to help promotion of the week long celebration of independent sellers. But really, it's nothing unless we take time out to visit those without the chain flag flying, chat, browse and enjoy.
Honestly, independent bookshops can be a home from home for passionate bibliophiles, and IBW seeks to prove just that. We'll certainly be taking a trip to our local shop, and sharing our experiences.
Should you wish to do the same and need to find your local indie, here's a tool to do just that.
Should you want to find out who was shortlisted for the awards, that can be found here.
And, finally, should you want to have your mind blown by a writer or work you've never experienced before...get out to your local indie and ask for a recommendation.