Friday, 20 July 2012

The Last Albion Bookshop Closes and some thoughts on the demise of the independent bookshop.


The closure of independent bookshops new and secondhand, has been a plague of the last few years, there a lot of different factors that have contributed to it, out of town shopping, the rise and fall of big chains of new and discount bookshops, the internet, the charity bookshop, the e-book, the kindle and I guess most of all the increased cost of running a shop. 

Well anyway Albion Secondhand Bookshop in Broadstairs has closed, to me this is a considerable loss to the town. I guess that there comes a point somewhere along the line where towns will cease to qualify as a town in the sense that we have historically come to understand the word town to mean.   

Sorry about the picture, I will make some effort to do a better one.

10 comments:

  1. But Broadstairs still has a bookshop at the High Street end of Albion Street and, in recent years, one that is open a lot more frequently and for longers hours than the one just closed. Perhaps that might explain its survival.

    I also understand that the Albion Bookshop is to become a book vending bar with reading and browsing areas. Far from a loss, that may be a novel (no pun intended) addition.

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    1. Tom in 2008 Broadstairs had three bookshops now only the smallest one is still there, ok they turn into places to get food and drink, but the problem for town centres will soon be what do you do between eating and drinking?

      Perhaps some building that can only be used for real retail, I don't know really, but I think we have a serious problem.

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    2. Point taken and even what was once Time & Space is now yet another coffee shop. Nonetheless there is still hope with three proper butchers, a decent greengrocer, three bakeries and a fresh fish shop. Antiques have also held their own with four outlets now plus a retro clothing and accessories shop. Add a trio of gift shops, a dolls house specialist, two independent chemists in addition to Boots and Superdrug, a couple of art outlets, a furnishings store and a good independent off licence and there is still some scope for window shopping in the town centre. My own quirk is butcher's windows and the decision between what I fancy and what I can afford. Hence the sausages normally get the nod over the partridge or T bone. At least they are butcher's sausages as opposed to plastic wrapped and filled supermarket variety.

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    3. I used to like butchers shops when they had carcasses hanging up in the window.

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    4. I remember some windows in Hamburg that displayed some choice carcasses though more draped than hanging. Broadstairs has not got around to that yet though rumour has it that Westgate is close.

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    5. What no charity shops, estate agents, hairdressers and pound shops in Broadstairs? Most towns seem to be full of them.

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    6. Of course there are although I was simply listing the interesting shops that remain. At the last count Broadstairs has four charity shops, four hairdressers and seven estate agents. Only one building society now though and two banks.

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  2. It's not just book shops of course; how many independent record (or CD etc) shops are there now, or video (or DVD) shops come to think of it?

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    Replies
    1. Peter with books the movement towards large organisations changes the way quality is selected, simplisticly, the more discount you give us, the more we will promote it, so best sellers tend to be the books attracting the largest discount.

      I wonder how much music and film success is now retail profit related.

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  3. I used to spend hours in bookshops and record shops

    now I know I cant get out but I wouldnt know where to go for either.

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