Haggerston indie bookshop Burley Fisher celebrates first birthday with award nod

Business partners Sam Fisher, left, and Jason Burley, from Burley Fisher Books.

Business partners Sam Fisher, left, and Jason Burley, from Burley Fisher Books. - Credit: Isabel Infantes

It’s been celebration time at Burley Fisher Books in Haggerston, which has received a nod for best indie bookshop in the capital on its first birthday.

Sam Fisher, from Burley Fisher Books, opens a new bookshop at 400 Kingsland Road, Hackney.

Sam Fisher, from Burley Fisher Books, opens a new bookshop at 400 Kingsland Road, Hackney. - Credit: Isabel Infantes

The Kingsland Road store has been shortlisted at the British Book Awards along with five others, including Pages of Hackney in Lower Clapton Road.

“We were pretty surprised and really thrilled,” said Sam Fisher, who runs the shop with Jason Burley. “It came at a serendipitous time with our birthday.

“When we started our goal for the first year was just to still be here, so we’re really pleased.”

The regional winners will be announced on Wednesday, with the national gong being given out in May.


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Sam believes the store’s success is down to the resurgence in physical book sales, coupled with the events space now open in its basement after a Kickstarter raised £9,000 for the renovation.

“I also think it’s because of where we are in Hackney,” he added. “And we have a lot of stuff going on. It’s a combination of different things, trying to match our ideas to the area.”

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Eleanor Lowenthal opened Pages of Hackney in 2008, and, after being nominated three times before, is hoping it’s fourth time lucky.

“It feels great,” she said. “We’ve been selling more books than we ever have before and we’ve been doing more stuff in schools and hosting events too.

“Sam and I are great friends though, so if they win I’ll be happy too.”

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