Independent Bookshop Week – 17 June 2023

Happy Independent Bookshop Week! Welcome to the best week of the year.*

It’s a week when you are strongly encouraged to visit your local independent bookshop. Or to travel around the country visiting ones you have not yet discovered. Or both. It’s a week when you might want to encourage others to support independent small businesses.

It’s a week when booksellers are willing to indulge all those burning questions you’ve been too afraid to ask, such as:

Do you write down all the funny things customers say as material for a novel? Why are dogs strongly encouraged to enter the shop but not my pet snake? Do you think it’s time to stop obsessing over how good Siri Hustvedt is? What would Deborah Levy do? Is Graham Swift? Does Jim Dodge? Is Lily King? When is Elizabeth Day? Where can I find an Isabella Tree? Does Rebecca Wait?

All these questions and more may be answered.

We have a few little treats this week.

For the stalwart puzzlers among you, we introduce our second Heron Books cryptic crossword. And for the younger puzzlers among you, or the slightly less stalwart, we offer a bookish wordsearch. Paper copies are in the shop or follow the links for the online version. All the instructions are on the task. The first 100 people to present us with a correctly completed puzzle will be given a £5 National Book Token which you can spend anywhere that accepts these.**

For readers aged 8-12ish and above, we have something very special:

Friends and Traitors by Helen Peters is the brilliant new book from the author of the gorgeous Jasmine Green series. The Big Chains won’t have it on sale until 6th July but the good people of Nosy Crow, an exceptional children’s publisher, have teamed up with independent bookshops to offer this a little early. And we have Friends and Traitors themed badges and postcards available with the first ten purchases.

Finally, next Saturday we have a wonderful event: Taran Spalding-Jenkin and Tom Sastry will be with us at 5pm for Poetry in Herons. We are so looking forward to hearing their poetry performed. Entry is free but do email us to confirm that you’re coming.

Have a splendid, locally sourced, community focussed, independently shopped weekend. And good luck with the cryptic. Seriously, good luck.


* Notwithstanding, bring your heron to work week, national stay home and read Middlemarch week, and any week when Fitzcarraldo announces new titles.

** The cryptic crossword is possibly harder than getting through The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. Josh is on hand for clues as to the clues. The wordsearch is slightly easier than finding Frida Kahlo in the book Where’s Frida Kahlo?