Continuing our amble round London's independent bookshops
Simon Key and Tim West used to work for Waterstones; they'd barely settled in as managers of the Wood Green branch when they were informed the chain was closing the store down, leaving the area with no bookshop at all. So they decided to do something about it and the Big Green Bookshop was born. Brilliantly, they ran a blog throughout the entire process and the community pitched in to help with painting, cakes and lifts (the blog's still very much a going concern, though these days you're just as likely to find stories of Simon's daughter and pictures of cheese as stuff about the shop).
This is a bookshop that's very, very much part of the community it serves. The stock has evolved according to customers' tastes, and now has dedicated poetry, history and manga sections. They also run Big Green Wednesdays, where an author comes along and reads to a class from one of Haringey's 72 schools (this is why the shop doesn't open til 10.30 on Wednesdays mornings), which we think is fantastic.
They're also packed to the gills with events. There's a celebration of short stories and novellas with Roastbooks tonight and the author of The Noughtie Girl's Guide to Feminism will be along tomorrow (both events are free). Over summer there's a great line-up for kids too: Horrid Henry is visiting on 25 July for a whole day of fun, including a yucky dip, and from Friday 31 July there'll be a weekly storytelling session, often with the authors of the very picturebooks they're reading from. (Pop down on the 7 August for the authors of the Stripey Horse books.)
Tim and Simon's enthusiasm for what they do is utterly infectious. They're down a side street off Wood Green High Road, but they'd be worth a much bigger detour to check them out.
Big Green Bookshop, Unit 1 Brampton Park Road, Wood Green. Map after the jump, images author's own. Know a good bookshop? Email us at londonist (@) gmail.com.
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