Reasons to love bookshops

It's Independent Bookshop Week in the UK so I thought I'd post a poem I wrote in celebration of bookshops. It was published in the Bookseller magazine recently. 


To bookshops (with apologies to Elizabeth Barrett Browning) 

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

I love the jingle-jingle of the bell

announcing my arrival with a smile:

‘You’re in a bookshop. All will now be well.’

I love the spines of books upon the shelf

that promise romance, laughs and mysteries.

I love the smell of paper, print and ink,

the rustling of pages in the peace.

I love the ‘Recommendeds’ and the ‘New’,

the joyous promise of that corner chair

that tells me I should choose a book and rest -

convinces me that I have time to spare.

I love, I love, the beauteous books you sell.

(My bank account does not love thee so well.)

What do you like best about bookshops? Do you have a favourite one? Tell me why. 


  1. Wonderful! Mind you, book shelf manufacturers do quite well.

    1. Something to bear in mind should I need another career!

  2. The peacefulness, you don't get the stampeding hordes like department stores and supermarkets, people are more civilised and take their time browsing and choosing. Even the wait line to pay is easier. And of course the smell and those lovely covers just begging to be opened.

    1. Yes, refreshingly free of stampeding hordes! Thanks for your comment, River.

  3. the way the independent bookseller comes over and asks what you're after today, a present maybe,
    an easy read for yourself, what's new, what's right up your street... or do you maybe want to learn about something you've always wanted to know?
    None of that is available on Amazon.

    1. You're so right, Friko. Amazon is soulless in comparison. Thanks for reading and commenting! Lovely to hear from you!

  4. Anonymous23/6/21 02:28

    Ii agree, the peacefulness, and they have a different atmosphere from big retailers like Waterstones. More intimate, more personal.

    1. That's the beauty - each one has its individual stamp. A Waterstones tends to be a Waterstones, unless the manager has some kind of flair that can bring nuance, but I wonder if they're even allowed to.


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