Phlox Books interior

North east London bookshops battle for British Book Award

Two bookshops in north east London have secured spots on the British Book Awards’ shortlist for Independent Bookshop of The Year 2023.

Phlox Books in Leyton and Burley Fisher Books in Hackney are amongst a select number of UK bookshops vying to obtain a regional victory before progressing to the national finals.

Owner of Phlox Books Aimée Madill named the business after a bookshop her parents had owned in Belfast in the 1980s and was proud to carry on their legacy.

According to Madill, Phlox’s slogan is ‘Books, Booze, Coffee’ as it offers a place to enjoy a drink as well as read and discuss books.

She said: “It’s fantastic to represent Leyton and a validation of my efforts to build on the rich history of my parents.”

Burley Fisher Books, which boasts access to over 4.5 million titles, was established by Jason Burley and Sam Fisher in 2016.

Hosting a multitude of literary events, ranging from book tours to reading workshops, bookseller Dan Fuller described it as an events-led shop.

Fuller said: “A win for us would be a win for the community that has kept us afloat and a win for Hackney as a whole.”

SUPPORTED BY THE COMMUNITY: Burley Fisher Books in Hackney. Image credit: Burley Fisher Books

Launched in 1990, the British Book Awards are produced by The Bookseller, the UK’s sole paper publishing magazine, which was launched in 1858.

Also known as ‘The Nibbies’, this year’s awards will be judged by an all-star panel, including: Channel 4 News lead anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy, radio host Vick Hope, broadcaster and author Anita Rani, comedian Ellie Taylor, and Waterstones Children’s Laureate Joseph Coelho, amongst others.

Last year, Independent Bookshop of the Year was awarded to The Bookery in Crediton, Devon.

The winner will be announced on 15th May at Grosvenor House in London.

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