Why This Store Needs London’s Help

London, Reading & Writing

The Big Green Bookshop is special even among other indie bookstores. It’s as much a community drop-in as a shop. Its owners are known throughout North London’s Wood Green, and go out of their way to make customers welcome, with regular readings and events. I’ve appeared there, and the atmosphere was wonderful. This is the kind of shop people complain about not having in their high streets anymore.

Here are some of the things that the owners, Simon and Tim, do, quoted from their site.

‘Author events including Will Self, Mark Billingham, David Vann, Karen Maitland, Christopher Fowler, Laura Dockrill, Magnus Mills and even Maisy Mouse.

Musical evenings, film nights and historical walks

Well over 300 visits so far to the local schools in Haringey, Enfield and Barnet helping them to promote literacy with author visits, talks, storytelling and whatever else we can.

Monthly knitting groups, quizzes, writers groups and board games days (and we’re about to start a comedy night.)

Two book groups.

Weekly storytelling and singing for the under 5’s.

Supporting local talent by holding book launches, poetry readings and talks by the cream of North London’s literary stars.

Even a place to leave your shopping if it gets too heavy and to sit down with a free cup of tea or coffee.’

So it will come as no surprise to hear that it’s in trouble. Why? The full story is best explained here. Of course, the shop has done everything right – it’s just that economic forces are working against them. I’ve been as guilty as anyone of failing to positively discriminate in favour of local shops. It’s easy to do when you’re in a rush and lead a hectic life.

The solution is simple. Check out their charming site here, and buy something from them. Spread the load. It’s not charity, it’s ethical shopping.

Rant over.

3 comments on “Why This Store Needs London’s Help”

  1. Alan Morgan says:

    I’ll get a couple of books here when the next lumpette of money rolls in. I’ve done some sort of post-it to faffbook but you know, the usual nice folks will do the right thing and get a book – and as you say, it’s not charity – whilst the herd will most likely not see what’s in it for them and ignore it. Or faint that I’ve posted anything at all seeing as how it is no one’s business but mine what I intend to scoff for lunch. But remember that many people think that music, art and literature should be free and probably will be when it’s all electronic* – as after all, they have to work so why shouldn’t everyone else?

    Good post, Mr F.

    *With the proviso that I.A.M is the local expert on such things and so realistically what he says, so sort of do I on the subject…

  2. Helen Martin says:

    I like the use of “local” in the above comment. This blog is a community of sorts, I guess.

  3. I.A.M. says:

    Thank you, Alan… I think.

    I wasn’t aware of becoming a local expert at music, the arts, literature, its pricing structure, and electronic provision of same. If you could convince the Vancouver CBC Radio 1 afternoon programme of that, well I’d be much obliged. Until I ‘make it big somewhere “away”,’ they don’t seem to even give me a half-hearted toss.

    I think the above statement of yours in essence is that we see eye-to-eye on things. If you like, I could spout some rubbish for you to take issue with? “Flanders & Swann were proto-punk musicians and anarchists par excellence.” How’s that for a start?

Comments are closed.