Indie bookshops in good health as record number of first-timers vie for Nibbie

From The Bookseller:

Thirteen first-time Independent Bookshop of the Year nominees will contest the regional and country Nibbies this year, on the back of indie retail numbers hitting a 10-year high.

Five former overall winners and a record 13 first-time nominees have been named on the regional and country shortlists for the Independent Bookshop of the Year (IBOTY) Award at the British Book Awards 2023.

Fifty-nine shortlistees in total are in contention for the Nibbie, which is sponsored by Gardners and supported by the Booksellers Association (BA). The stores will now compete to grab their region and country top spots—to be announced on 16th March—with those winners vying for the UK and Ireland-wide prize, which will be revealed at the British Book Awards ceremony on 15th May.

The baker’s dozen of first-time nominees includes Queer Lit, the former online-only LGBTQ+ specialist which opened its bricks-and-mortar store in Manchester’s Northern Quarter in 2021; the Ross and Cromarty stalwart The Ullapool Bookshop, whose manager Katharine Douglas was named on The Bookseller’s Bookshop Heroes list in 2022; Malton’s Kemps General Store & Books, launched in 2017 by Liz Kemp and based on the shop her parents used to run; Swindon’s Bert’s Books, launched by long-time W H Smith marketer Alex Call in 2019; and David’s Bookshop, the 60-year-old Letchworth Garden City institution which in 2020 was bought by staff and put into an employee ownership trust.

The newcomers square off against some seasoned Nibbie regulars, including a quintet of past overall winners: Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights in Bath, Linghams Booksellers in Hesswall, St Boswells’ The Mainstreet Trading Company, Five Leaves Books of Nottingham and Crickhowell shop Book-ish. Additionally, six of last year’s regional and country winners—Bookbugs & Dragon Tales, Burley Fisher Books, Wonderland Bookshop, Forum Books, The Edinburgh Bookshop and Book-ish—will attempt to reclaim their crowns.

Link to the rest at The Bookseller