I have just read the most annoying article in the Independent by Tom Sutcliffe - see here for the full text. The part that caught my attention was this:
'I noticed that Richard Dawkins had published a new book and then noticed that the hardback price was £20 and hesitated. And then I went home and discovered that Amazon would deliver it to my door for £9.99...Since then I've found myself wondering exactly how much of a premium I'd pay to keep that small bookshop in business... My guilt, in the instance I've given, was compounded by the fact that the real-world bookshop did much of the work of securing the sale – acting, in effect, as a walk-through interface...'
That sums it up really. Tom Sutcliffe feels guilty because he likes bookshops and knows that he wouldn't have come across the book at all if it weren't for that well-stocked, well-informed local bookshop. But he buys it from Amazon because it's cheaper. Not every book is cheaper on Amazon, and the hidden costs of the whole process - to publishers and everyone involved in book production - are vast. But so long as local bookshops are viewed as a charitable concern by their (very occasional and often simply browsing) customers, their future is clearly limited.
Interestingly, I read Tom Sutcliffe's article online - why buy a paper when you can read it online for nothing? - So we are all equally involved in this virtual undermining... If I buy your paper, will you shop here?
Welcome to The Woodstock Bookshop
The shop opened in May 2008 and is on the main road in Woodstock, just next to the bus stop. We can supply most books to order by the next day and have several thousand books in stock: to order books ring or email the shop. We have a large selection of children's books and are happy to advise and recommend. We can also supply second-hand and out-of-print titles. We offer discounts for school orders and for book clubs and have a free local delivery service.
We were on the regional shortlist for Independent Bookshop of the Year in 2009, 2013 and 2017, and listed in the Independent's Top 50 UK Bookshops.
Two monthly book groups take place at the bookshop - a poetry group, initially formed to read collections submitted for the annual T S Eliot Prize and now following a slightly wider brief; and a book group focusing more on fiction. Both are open to everyone but occasionally space is limited - please contact us for details.
We hold a series of informal talks and readings throughout the year. If you buy any book at the talk the cost of the ticket will be deducted. Please ring or email to book a place - early booking advisable.
WOODSTOCK POETRY FESTIVAL
The bookshop started and runs Woodstock Poetry Festival, a completely independent festival that has now been running for 8 years.
The Woodstock Literature Society also holds an excellent series of monthly talks - do visit their website for further details.