Book Corner, Halifax

I used to live in Bradford in the late 80s and always loved nipping over to Halifax, it’s a real pity that Book Corner wasn’t there then.

I’m so looking forward to revisiting Piece Hall and visiting the shop once I can get out and about once more.

The Book Corner
The Piece Hall
Halifax
HX1 1RE
Telephone:01422 414443
Email: cornerbookshophalifax@gmail.com

Website: https://bookcornerhalifax.com
Twitter: @BookCornerHX
Instagram: @bookcornerhx
Facebook: @BookCornerHX

In their own words

Who are you? Owns the bookshop? Bit of a bio and pics, please

I’m Kate, I’ve been bookselling in some capacity most of my life. I started out when I was a student opening a secondhand bookshop in Leeds and along the way I qualified as a teacher. I’m also a mum, and I have a special love for children’s books, even though my son is old enough to work in the shop with me now. I also own The Book Case in Hebden Bridge

General background/history of the shop please

The Piece Hall reopened to the public three years ago. It is a stunning and unique building that dates from 1779 and is the sole survivor of the great northern cloth halls. It had been closed to the public for some time. When I heard it was reopening as a Retail and Heritage building I knew I had to have a shop there.

Do you stock a variety of genres or do you specialise?

We stock a wide range of fiction and non -fiction, and half the shop is dedicated to children’s books.

Do you mainly sell new or second-hand books?

New

What makes your bookshop special?

Number one – The staff! I have a brilliant and dedicated team of booksellers. Secondly the magnificant venue of the Piece Hall is a stunning location.

What’s the hardest thing about being a bookseller?

Keeping up with all the new books published

What’s the best thing about being a bookseller?

The enthusiasm of our customers and how much they love visiting the shop. Being a part of someone’s ‘happy place’ is an enormous privilege

What are the goals for your bookshop?

To build up a reputation outside our local area, that people think is worth making a special trip to visit

What is your preferred reading genre?

I try and keep up with the latest literary fiction for the shop but if left to my own devices I enjoy crime and historical fiction.

What was your favourite childhood book? Why?

I loved The Dark Is Rising sequence when I was a child those other strange unsettling children’s books of that era.

How do you reach potential readers/customers?

We use social media, but over lockdown we have just started sending out a newsletter

Do you have a favourite publisher? Why?

Bluemoose Books (they are also one of my favourites, Stephen) they are local to us, and we have a great relationship with them. They are a strong independent voice the industry and also consistently publish some of the best writing around.

Name three books on your TBR.

Panenka by Ronan Hession, Summerwater Sarah Moss, A Musical Offering by Luis Sagasti

What are you reading at the moment?

The Mermaid of Black Conch by Monique Roffey

What is the nicest thing a customer has ever said to you?

We get so many lovely comments about the shop, I love it when customers say they have found the perfect book that they never knew they wanted!


If you want to help and support this blog and my other projects (Indie Publishers and Big Bearded Bookseller) you could become a Patreon which would help pay for my hosting, domain names, streaming services, and the occasional bag of popcorn to eat while watching films.

If you can’t support with a monthly subscription a tip at my Ko-Fi is always appreciated, as is buying things from my Ko-Fi Shop.

You can always email me on contact@bigbeardedbookseller.com with any suggestions.

Book Corner, Saltburn

The Book Corner has a beautiful new website where you can now buy books online from them.

Our next shop is the wonderful Book Corner in Saltburn where I got some translated works which were hard reading but well worth it, ran and owned by Jenna who is so nice and friendly. It also has the advantage of being in a wonderful little town on the coast.

Book Corner
24 Milton Street
Saltburn-by-the-Sea
TS12 1DG.
Tel: 01287 348010

Website: www.bookcornershop.co.uk
Facebook: https://en-gb.facebook.com/pages/category/Independent-Bookstore/Book-Corner-Saltburn-1506322029595573/
Twitter: @BookCornerShop

Open 10am – 5pm, 5 days a week (closed Wednesdays and Sundays).

In their own words…

How did you come up with the name of your bookshop?

My shop is called ‘Book Corner’. I wanted something which described exactly what I sell. My original shop unit was in the corner of the town square, so it seemed right. I’ve since moved so I’m no longer in a corner, but I’ve kept the name.

Why a bookshop? What made you want to get into bookselling?

I used to work in a commercial art gallery, which I loved, but I was made redundant when it sadly closed. It felt like the right time to do something on my own, and my time at the gallery had made me realise I enjoyed working in retail. Books were something I was passionate about, so it seemed like an obvious choice when I thought about it!

Do you stock a variety of genres or do you specialise?

I sell a variety of genres, but I’m particularly drawn to ‘up-lit’, fantasy, literary fiction, nature writing and beautiful picture books.

Do you mainly sell new or second-hand books?

New

What makes your bookshop special?

I choose every book myself. I suppose that’s something that makes all independent bookshops special: that their stock is carefully curated, and every bookshop has a different range. My shop also has a sea view!

What’s the hardest thing about being a bookseller?

It can be hard working on your own when the shop is quiet.

What’s the best thing about being a bookseller?
The variety of the job, and being able to see what wonderful books are coming out in the future.

What little-known book do you think is underrated?

I don’t know how little-known it is, but I think ‘The Understudy’ by David Nicholls deserves more love. Everyone I know who’s read it seems to love it; I just feel that it deserves to be more widely read. It’s one of my favourite books of all time.

BookCorner Interior

BookCorner Interior

What is your preferred reading genre?

I have two. I love ‘up-lit’ (eg Matt Haig,
‘Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’, ‘The Rosie Project’), and also accessible sci-fi and fantasy (The Wayfarers books by Becky Chambers are a particular favourite).

What book is your greatest treasure? Why?

I have a beautiful illustrated edition of ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ by Gaston Leroux (another favourite book).

If you could invite any author for a book signing at your shop, who would you choose?

David Nicholls!

Where do you think the biggest change in book publishing will come from?

I think more books will be crowdfunded, using models similar to Unbound. I’d also like to see some major publishers opening offices in the North (and by that I mean the ‘proper’ North, Leeds upwards!). I think this would bring real change, and I just hope it happens.

Name three books on your TBR.

The Rosie Result by Graeme Simsion, Winter by Ali Smith, and Echo Murder by Laura Laakso.

What are you reading at the moment?

Wise Children by Angela Carter, for my book group.

What music, if any, do you play in your shop? Why?

Mainly classical. I listen to Classic FM, because I feel that it’s good ‘browsing music’. But sometimes I rebel and put Smooth on.

What is the weirdest thing a customer has ever asked for?

Shoes.

What is the nicest thing a customer has ever said to you?

A customer once gave me a box of chocolates as a thank you for ‘being kind to his mum’ and tracking some secondhand books down for her.


If you want to help and support this blog and my other projects (Indie Publishers and Big Bearded Bookseller) you could become a Patreon which would help pay for my hosting, domain names, streaming services, and the occasional bag of popcorn to eat while watching films.

If you can’t support with a monthly subscription a tip at my Ko-Fi is always appreciated, as is buying things from my Ko-Fi Shop.

You can always email me on contact@bigbeardedbookseller.com with any suggestions.