Biggleswade Books is born, sort of: Welcome to Susie’s Bookstore!

UPDATE: Sadly, the new store only lasted about 4 months, closed down by March 2012.

A WONDERFUL THING HAS HAPPENED: we’ve got a new bookshop in Biggleswade, opened last Thursday, 10th November 2011, at the old ‘Bookworms’ premises in the alleyway between the Market Square and Aldi — Susie’s Bookstore, and everything’s half-price or better:

Susie's Bookstore, Biggleswade: all books half-price!

Susie’s Bookstore, Biggleswade: all books half-price!

Susie’s has relocated from Letchworth, where they concluded that there were too many bookshops: far better to trade in a town where there aren’t any — or rather, weren’t.

Sue and I called in today, met the lovely Susie, and loved what we found, shelves jam-packed with all sorts and still being filled with the stock brought across from their previous, much larger  premises in Letchworth: paperbacks & hardbacks, fiction & non-fiction, and a whole wall full of children’s books. And yes, I bought a book: Jasper Fforde’s latest, Shades of Grey. What do you mean, Jasper Who? Jasper Fforde, author of The Eyre Affair: head on over to the UKCBD reviews section and read Conrad Gempf’s review from back in 2004.

Biggleswade Chronicle: It’s a whole new chapter for Biggleswade outlet

Biggleswade Chronicle: It’s a whole new chapter for Biggleswade outlet

This is the site I’d originally considered for Biggleswade Books. That dream wasn’t to be, but never mind: a new dream has been born, just in time for Christmas, complete with a report and photo in this week’s Biggleswade Chronicle: It’s a whole new chapter for Biggleswade outlet

Susie's Bookstore - Now Open!

Susie’s Bookstore – Now Open!

If you live in the area, do call in: well worth a visit.

Susie’s Bookstore
17a Market Square
SG18 8AS


Facing up to reality

It was, as some have said, an awesome dream.

But sadly it seems that’s all it was ever going to be: there simply hasn’t been enough interest to make this particular dream come true.

We do, however, have a bigger, brighter Sainsbury’s in town. If you, like me, happen to think books — real books, printed on paper — are important, why not lobby Sainsbury’s for more space for books? Ask them to move the books from the back of the new entertainments section to the front, alongside the magazines. And in the meantime, get in there and buy some books to make the point!

Thank you.

Sainsbury's, Biggleswade

Sainsbury's, Biggleswade

(I guess I should declare an interest: I’m now working at Sainsbury’s; and yes, I intend to make my own suggestions from the inside too.)

Making the News

THANK YOU to Laura Hutchinson for her write-up on Biggleswade Books in this week’s Biggleswade Chronicle — p.31, “Phil’s plan is not an ‘open book’ just yet” — and a very warm welcome to anyone who has arrived here after reading that article.

As I said in the article:

There are two possibilities that I have in mind: the sensible dream, to reopen the former Bookworms premises as Biggleswade Books; and the wild dream, to take over the former Woolworths premises.

Either plan would be subject, of course, to negotiations with the landlords and to town council approval, whom I have yet to approach: first I need to gauge the level of interest; then, if there is sufficient interest, to raise the capital such an enterprise would require.

If you, gentle reader, would like to see a new bookshop open in Biggleswade — whether big or small — please do let me know, either by leaving a comment, sending me a message or voting in the poll on the previous page.

Biggleswade Chronicle, Friday October 30, 2009, p.31

Phil's plan is not an 'open book' just yet

Welcome to Biggleswade Books!

WELCOME to Biggleswade Books! Biggleswade Books is a dream: a dream for a new, independent bookshop for Biggleswade and the surrounding area.

Biggleswade Books - Books for EveryoneSince Bookworms closed earlier this year, Biggleswade has been without a bookshop. As a newcomer to the area, having just moved to Langford, this saddens me; but as a booklover by nature and a bookseller by trade, I’d love to be able to provide the Biggleswade area with a bookshop — a community and family focused shop, with dedicated sections providing resources for local churches and other organisations.

At present this is only a dream: to make that dream a reality, I need the support of the local community: do the people of Biggleswade want a bookshop?

I am particularly keen to hear from prospective customers who would prefer to buy their books locally, so that I can gauge the level of interest; but I’d also love to hear from other local business people or community leaders who would be willing to comment on the viability of such an enterprise, offer advice or perhaps even consider making a financial investment to help launch the business.

Whether you’d like to help or simply want to say that you like the idea, please feel free to leave a comment or contact me, Phil Groom, privately with your ideas and suggestions for how — together — we can make it happen. Finally for now: if you’re wondering who I am, please see the About page.

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