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Launched by the Booksellers Association in 2006, Independent Bookshop Week is a celebration of indie bookshops and the role they play in their communities. This year's event starts on Saturday might just be the biggest yet!

If you were amongst the 31% of adults reading more during lockdown, you’ll understand the feeling of escapism that comes from losing yourself in a good book.  Whether you took the opportunity to pick up a tome that has been sitting on the shelf for years (I’m looking at you, East of Eden) or turned to the light-hearted exploits of octogenarian detectives (yes, The Thursday Murder Club lives up to the hype), print book sales in 2020 were at their highest level since 2012.

As shutters came down and stores were forced to close, our local bookshops needed to find ways to adapt – and adapt they did. All whilst keeping in line with the changing restrictions, newly-created local delivery services, click and collect from a table at the front door, and selling through bookshop.org all provided opportunities for our favourite indies to remain viable during what was an incredibly difficult time for retail.

It was during this time of being unable to physically visit a bookshop that we realised just how important they are to the communities they serve. From supporting local authors and hosting events, to promoting literacy for children and young people, a good bookshop is a real asset to our high streets.

We’ve compiled a list of some of Sefton’s top independent book shops you can show some love for this Independent Bookshop Week:

Kingsley & Co – named after Victorian explore Mary Kingsley, this inspiring literacy project is working hard to engage as many children as possible through workshops, festivals and events. Selling good quality, second-hand books alongside new books by local authors and patrons, they even have a café serving vintage treats and delicious hot drinks.

Kingsley & Co – The Palatine, Lower Mall, Strand Shopping Centre, Bootle, L20 4SW / 0151 345 5670

Write Blend – a bookshop with its own café! What more could you ask for? Full to bursting with quality fiction and non-fiction titles, they also boast an enviable selection of children’s books. Junior Blend membership is a great initiative to encourage young readers – collect stamps with purchases and exchange them for a free book!

Write Blend – 124 South Road, Waterloo L22 0ND / 0151 928 1303

Pritchard’s Bookshop – proudly serving Crosby for over 40 years, the team at Pritchard’s have dedicated themselves to creating a shop that works with local schools, authors, and the community beyond. A carefully curated selection of the latest blockbusters sits alongside hidden gems, and we’re never had a dud recommendation.

Pritchard’s Bookshop – 13 Moor Lane, Crosby, L23 2SE / 0151 931 1642

Broadhurst’s Bookshop – Covering four floors, Broadhurst’s is a bibliophile’s dream. Not only do they stock an extensive range of new fiction and non-fiction titles but also have two rare book rooms, and a further eight second-hand book rooms containing upwards of 50,000 titles on all subjects. Visit on a chilly day and you might just be able to warm yourself by the open fire whilst browsing this gem of a bookshop.

Broadhurst’s Bookshop – 5-7 Market Street, Southport, PR8 1HD / 01704 532 064

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