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Coronavirus: Indie bookshops in Hackney close temporarily – but offer free bike delivery service

PUBLISHED: 15:20 16 March 2020 | UPDATED: 15:21 16 March 2020

Sam Fisher, from Burley Fisher.

Sam Fisher, from Burley Fisher.

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Two much-loved indie bookshops in Hackney have taken the decision to close temporarily due to coronavirus – and are offering free delivery by bike instead.

Burley Fisher in Kingsland Road and Pages of Hackney in Lower Clapton Road both announced on Monday they would close at the end of the day until at least March 30. Both had already launched bicycle delivery services for people in Hackney self-isolating.

Staff at Burley Fisher, which opened its doors in early 2016, last week began asking people isolating themselves to tell them the last book they enjoyed, saying they would send out a recommendation based on their choice. It is also offering home delivery to people living outside the borough.

Founder Sam Fisher told the Gazette he had been out delivering on Friday and Monday morning.

“I had in mind we’d have to close at some point and thought if we could start early we’d be able to work out the kinks in the system,” he told the Gazette. “If people are stuck inside there’s no greater escape from containment than books.”

Pages of Hackney. Picture: Pages of HackneyPages of Hackney. Picture: Pages of Hackney

Regarding the uncertainty around when the store will be able to reopen, he added: “The situation is worrying. The problem is we are insured if the government forces shops to close, but it hasn’t done that.”

Pages of Hackney, which opened in Lower Clapton Road in 2008, said: “Due to the need for social distance at this crucial time we sadly feel it is right to close the shop until the end of March. We are instead offering FREE HOME DELIVERY IN HACKNEY by bike or can post UK wide.”

Both shops are in the running to be crowned best indie book shop in London, with the winner announced in May.

Pages of Hackney recently announced its Cheshire Street shop in Shoreditch was closing after a year because of unaffordable rents and “punitive” business rates. It is on the lookout for a new premises.

Pages of Hackney is an independent bookshop on Lower Clapton Road. Picture: Pages of HackneyPages of Hackney is an independent bookshop on Lower Clapton Road. Picture: Pages of Hackney

Burley Fisher can be contacted at shop@burleyfisherbooks.com, on Twitter @burleyfisher or by calling Sam Fisher on 07973 516736.

Books can be ordered from Pages of Hackney by emailing info@pagesofhackney.co.uk, through pagesofhackney.co.uk, on Twitter @pagesofhackney, on Facebook or on Instagram.

Follow the latest coronavirus news from across Hackney and north London on our live blog.


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