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LoveReading Bookshop of the Month: Crediton Community Bookshop

By Liz Robinson on 15th October 2018

I am so unbelievably thrilled when I receive our Bookshop of the Month answers. Each bookshop has been so very different, there is something quite uniquely special about them, and yet they all have that same spirit, that love of and passion for books. I truly believe that all the time that particular dedication and fascination for books is alive, we will always be able to find a thriving bookshop somewhere close by. I first came across Credition Community Bookshop on Twitter, they are hugely active in the book community as well as their own and well worth following. Their answers to our questions made my heart beam, what a very special Bookshop this is...

When was your bookshop born and how did that come about?

Our story began in 2012 when a local bookseller retired and the community got together to raise funds to take over the bookshop. Nearly 300 people bought community shares, agreements were signed, and Crediton Community Bookshop (CCB) opened for business in September 2013! Read more at www.creditoncommunitybookshop.co.uk

Tell us about the journey and the changes you have seen over the years.

After three years in a small shop at the edge of the town, we raised finance and funding to buy our own shop. Since then we have settled into our new home in the middle of the high street and have been developing the shop into a valuable community resource, expanding our activities and local partnerships. We aim to be a placeholder for arts and culture and, as a not-for-profit community business, we nurture the local literary landscape. Amongst other things, we host author and poet events, writing workshops, story-time and language classes.

We've seen many more people engage with our enterprise and its activities. We've also witnessed the challenges of online shopping and deep discounting faced by high street shops and community resources in the town. Supporting independent businesses is an important aspect of community life and a sustainable publishing industry.

Describe your shop in three words.

Enticing, attractive, welcoming!

What is important in a great bookshop, tell us what sets you apart and makes you special.

A great bookshop stocks a range of titles that tempt, thrill and challenge their customers. We want people to find books they want, and books they never knew they wanted!

CCB is a not-for-profit community benefit society - owned by our members and committed to having a positive impact on our community. We actively seek out opportunities to support the development of literature, literacy, creativity and well-being, and our fantastic team of volunteers bring their passion and skills to make this happen: from inspiring school children with stories (and the authors who write them), to providing skills training and improved employability, to projects reducing rural social isolation, and investing in other community ventures.

With tremendous support from local individuals and organisations, CCB works hard to be a thriving community resource. We won the Prince of Wales Award 2017 for ‘the most outstanding contribution to improving the lives of their community’ by our volunteer-led outreach work with schools, organising author visits and book-fairs at 28 schools and reaching 3,000 pupils "transforming children who were reluctant to read or write into avid readers and writers”.

Tell us about the books you love to recommend.

The best book is the one that is perfect for the person it is meant for – be it the well-read bibliophile or the reluctant reader. We’ve become more confident about recommending books to customers and are about to start a book subscription service. Every year we also compile a Top 20 book-list for children based on what’s newly published, popular locally, critically acclaimed and books we can’t bear to be without. We take our carefully selected books into schools and read extracts from these to children, class by class, discussing the books, whetting children's appetites to know more...

What is your favourite part of your bookshop?

Our children’s section is very welcoming, with a patchwork sofa, table and chairs for small people - it's a cosy space to engage readers, browse books and nurture a love of reading.

Tell us a secret about books.

A secret about books...every book is a secret door into a new world, and the start of a journey to imaginary places, fantastic facts, amazing insights and so much more!

Apart from yourselves, which other bookshop(s) do you love to spend time in?

We are so inspired by the number of brilliant indie bookshops with passionate booksellers across the UK who are finding creative ways to share a love of books and reading. We love to visit and spend time in as many of them as possible!! Some of the ones we have visited and loved (so far) include Mr B's Emporium, Kett's Books, and John Sandoe Books, but there are many bookshops we admire from afar and would love to visit, Booka Bookshop, Tales on Moon Lane and Book-ish to name just a few!

What else do our members need to know about you?

We are one of only a handful of community bookshops in the UK, promoted by enterprising, passionate, resourceful people with a philanthropic business model, and every book sale counts! You can support us in many different ways:

Buy Books!

Sounds simple but EVERY book you buy from us counts towards the projects we do in the community. We have access to over 500,000 titles and if you can’t make it into the shop we can arrange delivery to your door!

Crediton Community Book Shop

21 High Street, Crediton EX17 3AH Tel:  01363 774740

Opening Hours:

Monday / Tuesday / Thursday / Friday 9am - 5pm

Wednesday / Sat 9am-1pm

A society for the benefit of the community, number: IP 31718R

Like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter

You don't need to be a book expert or have lots of free time but by sharing our posts and retweeting our tweets you are passing on our story.

Facebook:  Crediton Community Bookshop

Twitter: @CredBooks

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If you enjoyed this post, why not read our other Bookshop of the Month Features?