Our featured bookshop this March is none other than The Book Corner Halifax, a true champion of independent publishing and home to some of the most dedicated booksellers around. We caught up with booksellers, Sarah, Kate, Katie and Louise.
What do you think is special about The Book Corner?
The first special thing is our position as we are situated in the beautiful 18th-century Piece Hall. We get a huge variety of customers from very supportive locals to those visiting from across the world. Our staff are enthusiastic and knowledgeable, and we love to talk about books as much as we love to read them.
If money was no object, what changes would you make to your bookshop?
We would probably extend into another unit giving us a dedicated venue space and the ability to achieve our bookshop/café/wine bar dreams.
How and why did you get into bookselling?
Sarah worked in her mum’s corner shop and was approached by the manager of a local indie bookshop and has never left the trade. That was 35 years ago! Kate opened a second-hand bookshop whilst at university, trained as a teacher then returned to bookselling to fit around family. Katie’s main activities are reading and knitting. She was made redundant from a yarn shop, so a book shop was the logical next step. Louise had worked in the arts but wanted to engage with people more directly. As an avid reader and fledgling writer, she jumped at the chance to work in an indie bookshop a few years ago.
What’s the funniest thing you ever heard anyone say in the shop?
‘I’m sorry, I’m not buying a book and my toddler has done a wee on your carpet.’
What’s your favourite And Other Stories book?
What book published in the last year do our readers need to get their hands on?
Sarah and Kate – Leonard and Hungry Paul by Ronan Hession, published by our local indie press Bluemoose. Louise – Lanny by Max Porter. Katie – The Familiars by Stacey Halls.
What would be your desert island book?
Sarah – Something by Proust. Kate – Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke, as it would be a good opportunity to reread it. Louise – Ulysses by James Joyce. Katie – The Northern Lights trilogy by Philip Pullman.