New independent bookshop for Hackney bookworms

Sam Fisher and Jason Burley at independent bookshop. Pic: Sian Filcher

Sam Fisher and Jason Burley at the new shop Pic: Sian Filcher

Hackney readers will be able to shop at a new independent bookshop which is hoping to buck the national decline in the sector.

James Burley and Sam Fisher were bullish after opening their eponymous store on February 12 on Kingsland Road.

In 2014, there were just 987 independent bookshops open, which has fallen from 1,535 in 2005.

But Burley said of the newly opened Burley Fisher books: “Our book sales [in a sister store] increased last year and we felt it was a good time to open a bookshop in an area where there had never been a bookshop.

“Although there are bookshops on the fringes, there isn’t one in the area so we thought we’d go for it.”

The pair – known for Camden Lock Books – are also planning events such as readings by local authors and activities in a bid to attract customers.

The first will be with Sophie Mayer – a feminist poet, film journalist and social justice activist on March 5. The second will be with author John Day on March 30.

Burley said: “We’re also hoping to do events for children at weekends and half term holidays… for that purpose we’ve applied for a small grant to help us kick-start helping local children who may be finding they need some support in reading.”

Fisher added: “With the pressures on libraries’ budgets it’s kind of falling more and more to bookshops to create a space where kids can get excited about books.”

With Burley and Fisher recently becoming trained baristas, the shop also offers tea and coffee along with a comfortable seating area for those wishing to relax whilst reading.

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