Bookshops have always been a solid source of happiness and comfort in my life. Taking those spontaneous trips to a bookshop on a dull day to browse and wander is something many of us have done and love doing. It’s what made me fall in love with reading, the possibilities of a bookshop. However, there’s something wonderful about indie bookshops in particular; each and every one is beautifully unique. Whether it be the quirky names, the warm yellow lighting, or even the smell – indie bookshops are always a home away from home. Yet with the large chains such as Waterstones and the online mass of Amazon, indie bookshops have suffered. The high street itself is taking more hits to sales every day, which is why supporting small businesses and indie shops has never been more vital.
Nestled in the town of Penarth in Wales is one of my favourite, and most highly visited indie bookshops. With over 4,000 followers on Twitter, Griffin Books has flourished and become very popular. Set right in the centre of Penarth’s cosy town, Griffin Books is right next to a coffee shop- it’s a tradition of myself to read my new book in there afterwards as I nurse my coffee. It’s now on the shortlist for the IRC (Independent Retailers Competition), highlighting the best of independent shops in the UK. As an avid visitor, I’m more than proud to write about just how much admiration and support this bookshop deserves.
It isn’t big, but this bookstore has utilised this space perfectly. Everything has a place and the store is both open and also has neat and cosy corners. A home to both best-sellers and to unique literature, as well as supporting Welsh publishing houses and authors, Griffin Books has something for all kinds of readers in such a small space. The displays are inviting and colourful, making it impossible not to judge a book by its cover- I know we are guilty of it. With Christmas coming up, Griffin Books is the perfect place to not only buy for yourself, but for others too. Scattered around the shop there are bookish gifts as well as beautiful cards and trinkets. It really does hold the uniqueness of an indie bookshop.
With the stresses and confinement that lockdown has brought us all, going to the cosy town of Penarth is ever more appreciated. I really began to fall in love with the bookstore all over again, it makes you truly appreciate your love of reading. The staff at Griffin Books are welcoming as well as helpful, and the store itself seems to welcome you home, every time. However, if you can’t go there physically, their Twitter is full of their latest updates and bookish news from their authors. I’ll never stop recommending and encouraging people to go to Griffin Books. I hope you like it as much as I do.
Words by Molly Holborn.
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