Crediton Community Bookshop – turning book sales into opportunities for local people

Crediton Community Bookshop – turning book sales into opportunities for local people


We’re a community business. We sell books and
the profit that we make from the business we plough back into the community. There had been a book shop in Crediton for 20 odd years and the owner was about to
retire and was looking for somebody to buy the business and nearly 300 people
in the local community got together to buy community shares and take on the
running of the shop. Crediton Community Bookshop is the only independent
bookshop in mid Devon and I think the Exeter area and being an independent
book shop we can choose our own stock. We work closely with our customers and
volunteers and we have the opportunity to do some really exciting outreach
work. The school’s outreach service is an
essential part of the bookshop, so we go to about 20 to 25 schools locally, we
take authors, we run book fairs, we run class events and the monies that we get
from the book fairs in particular and selling the author’s books
come back to help fund the profits of the bookshop. Last March, around World
Book Day, we got to 500 children with authors or class events and we got to
3,000 children with our books fairs. We’ve identified a need in Crediton and
for the services the school service that was provide, so again we’re helping with
the literacy levels in the schools. I’m a volunteer with with the bookshop
and have been involved the project more less since the start. Since we’ve
progressed to being a slightly bigger business with more sustainable turnover
then I’ve benefited by being able to get a bit of paid time and we always use local
suppliers and contractors when we can so we’re kind of keeping that money circulating within the community. I kind of knew about it and thought what
a great thing it was for the town to have a bookshop still and just thought
I’d pop in and see about volunteering and as soon as I met Dean I thought she’s going
to be a really nice person to work for and I’m a teacher of literature, have
been all my life, so being surrounded by books and people
who want to read is great. For us to have the presence on the high street
with an attractive, welcoming shop I think is really important it has a peripheral
benefit to other businesses on the high street because people are coming into
town, they come to us and while they’re on the high street, then hopefully they’re going to
other shops as well.

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