Congratulations to The Book Stop in St Helens!
The Book Stop in St Helens, Merseyside, has been announced as the winner of the National Book Tokens Newcomer of the Year 2023, now in its fourth year. This award is given to new bookshops based on their first full year of National Book Tokens sales and redemptions, both of which are a measure of how well they are engaging with local booklovers.
Alex de Berry, M.D. of National Book Tokens, said, "The Book Stop in St Helens is a fantastic example of the vital role that independent bookshops play in their community, and in this case the shop does not only serve its community, it is owned by it. This is local bookselling doing something unique.”
Shop manager Nik and the team at The Book Stop have won a trophy as well as a champagne hamper to share – congratulations!
Nik tells us:
Our community bookshop situated in St Helens was the brainchild of our late Chairman and founder, Brian Leyland. With the closure of Wardleworths in 2019 after 40 years in the town, we were left in a dire predicament: No bookshop in the town! St Helens has one of the lowest literacy rates in the country and therefore the need to introduce reading for pleasure, especially in children, was great.
'The Book Stop's Here' is a community benefit society, owned by the community, for the community. The support since we have opened has been unreal. We've hosted T.M Logan, Robin Ince (twice), Lewis Hancox and a plethora of local authors and we run myriad events both in house and collaboratively with stakeholders in the town to help drive customers into the shop. We have been commended with social business awards and to receive this from National Book Tokens is simply wonderful recognition, thank you.
2023 is set to be an exciting year, as we look to renovate our upstairs to become a new event space, allowing a true community hub to be born from the bookshop.