The story goes on for Leeds book stores

Phil Caplan at Philip Howard Books in Roundhay
Phil Caplan at Philip Howard Books in Roundhay
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Reading is not dead and the independent book store in Leeds is here to stay.

That is the verdict of many of the booksellers in Leeds.

Owner Roy Brook at The Bookshop Kirkstall

Owner Roy Brook at The Bookshop Kirkstall

However, the recent closures of independent booksellers such as The Bookshop Kirkstall have had many wondering whether it is the final chapter.

The Yorkshire Evening Post revealed last week The Bookshop Kirkstall was just one in a long line of boutique book stores that have closed down due to financial problems.

There are now less than 1,000 in the entire country, according to figures released by the Booksellers Association.

And bookshops across Leeds have told the YEP they believe independent stores are set to experience a revival over the next few years.

Simon Michael, owner of the Chevin bookstore, in Otley, said the secret to success is about adapting for retail.

He said: “It is all about adapting with retail.

“There are so many businesses that have gone bust over the last ten years because they didn’t adapt their business model to the market place.

“It is not about whether books are redundant - they never will be.”

Dr Christian White, owner of ModernFirstEditions, in Ilkley, stressed there is a future for independent book stores.

He added: “There is definitely a future for independent bookstores but they have to do business in a different and more distinctive way.

“They have to choose a specialism or offer extra services or attractions in order to drag people into the shops and persuade them to spend.”

Philip Caplan, owner of the Philip Howard bookstore, said the physical act of browsing through rare books is what makes independent bookstores so special.

He added: “We don’t have an internet presence and that’s deliberate, because we don’t want to become a mail order services and are always encouraging people to come in.”

Other outlets such as city centre-based Colours May Vary believe that there has been a renaissance in printing and publishing , which will continue to thrive despite the hardships faced by retailers.

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