The British Book Awards has revealed the regional and country winners for the 2022 Independent Bookshop of the Year Award.
Sponsored by Gardners and supported by The Booksellers Association, the award celebrates nine inspiring bookshops, selected from a list of 63 finalists, which have continued to support their local communities during these turbulent times.
For the Midlands, the winner of the 2022 Independent Bookshop of the Year Award went to Retford’s Lewis Carroll-inspired Wonderland Bookshop - and a first-time regional and country finalist.
The store, owned by Helen Tamblyn-Saville, specialises in children’s literature and is keen to increase inclusivity in its store with designated dyslexia-friendly and LGBTQ+ shelves.
On Friday (March 25), it was also revealed that the store had been shortlisted for Best Children’s Bookshop of the Year, and Helen had been shortlisted for Individual Bookseller of the Year.
Helen said they are all ‘absolutely over the moon’ on receiving the award and shortlists.
She said: "I'm so grateful to the local community who have been incredibly supportive; we couldn't have done it without their support.”
The overall Independent Bookshop of the Year winner will also compete to be crowned Book Retailer of the Year.
The nine regional and country winners are now in contention for the overall Independent Bookshop of the Year Award, announced at the British Book Awards winner ceremony to be held at Grosvenor House in London on Monday May 23.
Tom Tivnan, The Bookseller’s managing editor, said: “This was undoubtedly the most competitive year we have ever had for Independent Bookshop of the Year.
“Although there are different models here, from long-time family-run shops to a community-run not-for-profit, the common thread is constant innovation and unwavering support for local communities.
“These nine shops should feel justly proud for claiming their regional and country crowns when their fellow indies have also been flourishing.”
The nine regional and country winners are:
East of England: Bookbugs and Dragon Tales | Norwich
Island of Ireland: O’Mahony’s | Limerick
London: Burley Fisher Books | Haggerston
Midlands: Wonderland Bookshop | Retford
North England: Forum Books | Corbridge
Scotland: The Edinburgh Bookshop | Edinburgh
South East England: The Haslemere Bookshop | Haslemere
South West England: The Bookery | Crediton
Wales: Book-ish | Crickhowell