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
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?
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!