Biblio-Text: Big Green Bookshop

Rachel Holdsworth
By Rachel Holdsworth Last edited 109 months ago
Biblio-Text: Big Green Bookshop
Down a side street, you will find the Big Green Bookshop
Down a side street, you will find the Big Green Bookshop
Look! It's a little model railway across the entrance to the children's section. Aw
Look! It's a little model railway across the entrance to the children's section. Aw
Community noticeboard in this very community minded shop
Community noticeboard in this very community minded shop
Bunting gives a festive atmosphere
Bunting gives a festive atmosphere
Just some of the events: they're hoping to turn the knitting day into a monthly thing
Just some of the events: they're hoping to turn the knitting day into a monthly thing
Yes, yes you are
Yes, yes you are
Little review notes for noteworthy books: you might have seen these in the big chains, but you can be sure these are genuinely the thoughts of the owners. Or sometimes they stick notices from Facebook up here
Little review notes for noteworthy books: you might have seen these in the big chains, but you can be sure these are genuinely the thoughts of the owners. Or sometimes they stick notices from Facebook up here
Children's section and ladybird cushion
Children's section and ladybird cushion
More community minded action to help save the market on the site of Wards Corner in Seven Sisters
More community minded action to help save the market on the site of Wards Corner in Seven Sisters

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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Last Updated 07 July 2009