Booksellers in the spotlight: celebrating bookshops

  • 23/06/2020

Sharing positive and successful stories from the bookselling sector, celebrating the innovation, resilience, and resourcefulness of booksellers from across the world


Bookselling community is quite large and diverse, but predominantly it consists of small- and medium-sized businesses. These include brick and mortar bookshops, online bookshops, independent bookshops, and chains. Through providing access to literature and culture, contributing to financial sustainability in their local areas, and helping to improve reading outcomes for all, booksellers are an integral part of their local communities. However, they are also competing for their customers’ attention with large online retailers, which have resources to completely re-shape the market, to the detriment of local communities. 


Celebrating the innovation, resilience, and resourcefulness of booksellers 

We’re launching a new campaign to highlight the successes of these small- and medium-sized businesses, which were really in the spotlight during the Coronavirus outbreak. Despite being forced to close their doors to customers, booksellers found multitude of different ways to continue engaging with their customers, and keep providing their local communities with access to books and culture.  


Our campaign aims to highlight different activities and initiatives from the wider bookselling industry, thus raising awareness of why bookshops are essential to our lives. Some of these initiatives have been running for a while, while others have been launched specifically to help booksellers engage with their communities during the Coronavirus outbreak. 


Social media material

campaign overview

Flore Gautron, owner of the Florilège Librairie in France, explains how a board game helped her customers see a funny side of hygiene regulations (view and share posts on Twitter and Facebook)


Romanian booksellers Oana Doboși and Raluca Selejan explain how they decided to build their online store around the idea of travelling with books - during a time when their La Două Bufniţe bookshop was closed due to the pandemic (view and share posts on Twitter and Facebook)


During Coronavirus outbreak, the English Bookshop in Uppsala organised an innovative auction of books– engaging with their followers and bringing joy to winners across Europe. Co-founder Jan Smedh explains their approach (view and share posts on Twitter and Facebook)




“Being able to connect grandparents with their grandchildren through books during lockdown was something that really touched us,” Trish Hennessy, owner of the Halfway up the Stairs children’s bookshop in Ireland, discusses how an initiative started during #COVID19 lockdown has transformed the business, continuing even after restrictions eased (view and share posts on Twitter and Facebook).


Nic Bottomley, co-owner of Mr B's Emporium of Reading Delights bookshop in UK, discusses environmentally friendly initiatives booksellers can adopt, and how the #COVID19 pandemic might accelerate the adoption of #green activities through the book industry (view and share posts on Twitter and Facebook). 


Speaking at an EIBF webinar in May 2020, Iris Hunscheid from Buchhandlung Hoffmann highlighted the importance of the connection between bookshops and local customers: “The smaller the bookshops are, the closer is their connection to customers.” (view and share posts on Twitter and Facebook)


View and download all multimedia material for social channels


Cover photo: (c) Halfway up the Stairs children’s bookshop in Ireland