Independent bookshops among regional finalists in national book award 

Five bookshops in London are competing in the Independent Bookshop of the Year Award

Five bookshops in London are competing regionally in the Independent Bookshop of the Year Award, from Haringey, Islington, Hackney and Southwark, before the winner goes on to the nationals - Credit: Martin Nosek

Bookshops in Muswell Hill, Crouch End, Highbury and Haggerston are among the finalists in the British Book Awards’ 2022. 

In total, 62 bookshops from nine regions are vying for the Independent Bookshop of the Year Award. 

London has five nominees: Bookbar in Islington, Burley Fisher Books in Haggerston, Pickled Pepper Books in Crouch End, The Children’s Bookshop in Muswell Hill, and Village Books in Dulwich. 

The shops will compete to win their region first, before being put through to compete nationally. 

Regional results will be announced on March 16, with the overall winner to be unveiled at the ceremony on May 23. 

Sam Fisher, owner of Haggerston’s Burley Fisher Books, said the awards pay testament to the support of readers and “the resiliency of independent book selling”. 

“It’s brilliant to be part of such a list of wonderful bookshops”, he said, “from new bookshops to more established bookshops that are spreading their reach and growing in size.”

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Urmi Merchant, co-founder of Pickled Pepper Books alongside her husband Steven Pryse, said: “We are absolutely delighted that both Pickled Pepper Books in Crouch End and our new branch in Enfield have been selected as a regional finalist for the Independent Bookshop of the Year in London. 

“We are so happy to have made the list alongside the other brilliant bookshops trading across the UK.” 

Sam Fisher, owner of Burley Fisher Books, said the awards were testament to “the resiliency of independent book selling”

Sam Fisher, owner of Burley Fisher Books in Haggerston, said the awards were testament to “the resiliency of independent book selling” - Credit: Burley Fisher Books

Chrissy Ryan, owner and founder of Bookbar, an Islington site that encourages reading with a glass of wine in hand, described the nomination as “the most incredible way to celebrate an unbelievable first year of business”. 

She said: “There are so many fantastic bookshops in London, who have all done such innovative things at the most difficult time, and I am in awe of all the finalists, so to be counted among them is a complete honour. I'm so grateful to all of our wonderful customers, our community, publishers, partners, and authors for championing Bookbar this year.” 

A member of staff at The Children’s Bookshop added that they are “delighted and privileged” at being nominated as regional finalist. 

Aimee Gilbert and Sanchita Basu De Sakar outside the Children's Bookshop in Muswell Hill

Aimee Gilbert and owner Sanchita Basu De Sakar outside of the Children's Bookshop in Muswell Hill as it reopened after the lockdown in 2021 - Credit: Polly Hancock

Tom Tivnan, The Bookseller’s managing editor, said: “This year’s Independent Bookshop of the Year regional and country finalists reflect a broad diversity across the UK and Ireland with the thread of innovation running through, no matter if they are one of the UK’s most venerable indies or one of its newest.”