Archive for the ‘Indie’ Category

By Rosalind Adam
Author of Bathtime Rap

Shop Front in Leicester

"Hotly reviewed books are not necessarily the bestsellers."

So you want to buy a book for a nine-year-old boy who loves pirate stories but isn’t too good at reading. How do you decide what to get him? You go into your local independent children’s bookshop and ask their advice. They know the market. They have a shop full of children’s books and can instantly point you towards that perfect gift.

Sadly most UK people don’t have access to such a luxury. There are only twenty independent children’s book shops in the country and I am pleased to say that Leicester has one of them. The Reading Shop is on the main shopping parade that runs through the busy Leicester suburb of Oadby.

I went to meet the owner, Lynn Moore, and her enthusiasm was infectious. She has a passion for children’s books and is dedicated to helping children who have trouble learning to read.

‘When I was a little girl reading books was an object of delight and comfort, an escape into another world,’ Lynn told me. ‘I always had a dream of opening up a children’s bookshop, of being able to help parents choose the right books for their children.’

Lynn trained as an Educational Psychologist and worked for many years in mainstream schools. Together with a friend she developed a literacy programme to help children with reading difficulties, running after-school literacy classes in a small rented room. Things have moved on and up since those days. She now has a dedicated teaching area over the shop with 60 children attending her after-school sessions.

‘The environment is perfect. The children are surrounded by books from the minute they arrive,’ explained Lynn. If enthusiasm really is infectious then these lucky children will be ‘infected’ for life.

Lynn has read all her stock and has learnt from experience not to rely on reviewers.Shop Front in Leicester

‘Hotly reviewed books are not necessarily the best sellers,’ she said. ‘Independent bookshops can nurture the unknown. If we notice a gem of a book, we can take it and promote it. No one dictates to us.’

The Reading Shop does more than sell books and run after-school literacy classes. They organise book fairs, storytelling sessions, baby and toddler groups, author signings, both in the shop and in schools, and Lynn is currently working on plans to hold book parties with the host earning a book or two for their help.

We used to have a number of independent book shops in Leicester. Now we only have The Reading Shop. It’s a thriving business at the moment so let’s make sure we keep it that way. Let’s keep on visiting. Let’s keep on taking advantage of her wealth of book knowledge. Let’s keep the independent bookshops alive.

Lynn Moore’s top 5 children’s books (in reader-age order rather than order of preference):

Babies: Peepo! by Janet Ahlberg

Toddlers: The Elephant and the Bad Baby by Elfrida Vipont and Raymond Briggs

4-6 years: Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen and Kevin Hawkes

Young readers: Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce

Older readers:  Anything by Anthony Horowitz!


The Reading Shop
7 The Parade
Tel 0116 271 7077



A bit about Rosalind Adam

Rosalind AdamI was once a teacher and now I’m a writer. My first children’s picture book, Bathtime Rap, was published in 2008 by Franklin Watts. In the same year I took on the role of lead facilitator of a Heritage Lottery funded project called Leicester Jewish Voices, compiling a book and a website. The project is still keeping me busy with talks and advice to other communities who want to run similar projects.

I have had numerous short stories published in magazines. I have run writing workshops and creative writing classes and recently I have set up a blog called Rosalind Adam is Writing in the Rain. There are always writing projects on the go but this does not stop me from continuing to work hard at my children’s writing and keeping the submissions going because writing for children is my one true passion.


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Indies are about diversity, community and choice

The bad news about Borders calling in the receivers has cast a shadow over the bookselling world.

It’s Christmas time and I’ll bet the temptation to buy all your presents from Amazon is huge.

Well here’s the thing: the culture of READING is under threat.

Libraries are closing. Amazon has become all powerful. And with only a few big players left in the bookselling market – Waterstones and the supermarkets – our reading culture which is enriched by diversity and choice is under threat.

Liz Hoggard in an Independent article called on readers to support local independents this Christmas.

In the New Year, the UK Booksellers Association will be launching an Indiebound campaign based on a successful Indiebound campaign in the United States.

I think we authors and illustrators can also help raise awareness for Indie booksellers.

So here’s a blog challenge for Christmas:

I have created this website on which with your help, I hope to feature independent bookstores up and down the country.

My challenge to you is to write short features about your local indie bookseller.

Post it on your blog or website and I will cross-post it on the blog! Send me your links on mumatwork AT blueyonder.co.uk (don’t forget to change the AT to @!

It’s not difficult – here’s how to do it if you don’t feel like marching up there and demanding an interview.

  • Google your chosen bookstore and get hold of their email address.
  • Email them with the following message: I am participating in a blog challenge designed to support local independent bookstores and I have chosen you as the bookshop I would like to feature on my blog. I would be very grateful if you would reply to these questions and perhaps send me some photographs of your shop.
  • You can ask what you want – but do cover the following bases:

    1. Please give me a brief bio of your shop
    2. Tell us about your clientele
    3.Can you recommend five children’s titles (we’re children’s book people after all)

And don’t forget to ask for pictures! Of the shop or of a window display!

  • Post it on your blog or website, or create a Facebook note.
  • THEN send me a link and a short bio about YOU. I will cross post the article on Bookshop Love, ending with a short profile about the author (you … so there’s something in it for you too)!

Please join this challenge.


(and do forward this challenge to an author near you!)
Thank you in advance,

Candy Gourlay

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