Independent Haggerston bookshop Burley Fisher launches fundraiser to convert basement

Sam Fisher, left, and Jason Burley, in Burley Fisher Books. The pair want to convert the basement fo

Sam Fisher, left, and Jason Burley, in Burley Fisher Books. The pair want to convert the basement for an event space - Credit: Isabel Infantes

There’s been a twist in the tale of one independent bookshop, which rather than closing like many of its peers is looking to expand.

Burley Fisher books in Kingsland Road, Haggerston, only opened six months ago but with business booming the two owners now want to take things to the next level, quite literally.

Jason Burley and Sam Fisher have launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise £7,500 so they can convert the large basement into an events space.

Sam told the Gazette: “Since opening we have done a lot of events but there’s not enough space on the ground floor.

“We have a huge basement but it’s not in great shape so we’re trying to raise money to renovate it. We do stuff like literary readings and artist sessions and we want to do live music too.

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“There’s been a lot of enthusiasm and we are trying to reach out to different audiences.”

The success of the first six months has been a welcome surprise to the pair, who admitted they had no idea what to expect when they launched the business.

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Sam continued: “It’s not the easiest thing to run as a business but we’ve been welcomed by the community.

“It’s challenging, but print books sales went up for the first time in 15 years last year and ebook sales went down.

“I think there’s a change in attitudes and an awareness that if you don’t support bookshops and buy books that’s no longer going to be available.”

Donate to the campaign at

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