Final chapter for Leeds bookstore

Owner Roy Brooks at The Bookshop Kirkstall. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Owner Roy Brooks at The Bookshop Kirkstall. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

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It is the end of an era for one of the few remaining independent book stores in Leeds, which has announced plans to close later this year.

The Bookshop Kirkstall, which has been around for nearly 30 years, will close on May 4th after sales dropped.

Owner Roy Brooks. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Owner Roy Brooks. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Shop owner, Roy Brooks, 70, first took over the store 25 years ago, when it was then known as Almar Books. The store specialises in selling second-hand books and antique books - some of which date all the way back to the 1600s. Brooks, who was born and bred in Leeds currently runs the store with his wife, Pippa.

He said: “The shop has been here for 30 years, I have had it for 25. The reason we are closing down is we have been running at a loss for around four years now, although we still have a reasonably healthy business online. Until we started our sale, we would get an average of one or two customers per day. However, the sale itself is going well and the shop is busier than it has been for many years.

“In the last week, we will give away anything that is not sold.” Although there is a possibility that the bookshop could be saved by a charity who will then sell the books on a pay-as-you-feel basis, at the moment, nothing is certain.

Mr Brooks believes that the decline in book sales is in part due to technological developments and the reluctance that many people have towards reading. While the store itself may be closing, the remaining titles will still be sold online via Amazon.

PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Brooks, a former magistrate, first started his career in publishing 53 years ago but will instead focus on charity work once the store closes.