Ipswich has a new bookshop!
Dial Lane Books in Ipswich opened last night, and I spent much of the day with feelings of excitement.
We walked towards the shop in the dark, after a day of heavy rain, and were drawn in by the people outside, the lights from inside and the sound of people. Lots of people!
As expected, there are lots and lots of books but a clever sense of space and there is a brilliant mural at the back of the shop. The desire to browse was huge but initially tricky. After the Mayor cut the ribbon, food was served and we had chatted to friends, people moved around the shop and spaces opened that we could move into. Our search was made even more pleasurable by the backing track of a string quartet, tucked into the corner of the shop (I’m sure they won’t be there every day…)
I am a big fan of the Ipswich branch of Waterstones; there are two women in there who are enormously passionate about the books they have read and have certainly encouraged me to buy many, many books. Although they are a national chain, and the books they sell are the choice of several people, they have retained a local feel with book clubs, book launches and engagement with local events, such as the Elmer Trail.
There is no reason why both shops cannot co-exist. Book lovers now have a choice (without having to go online), they can collect a book they want or be guided - and the books on the shelves of Dial Lane Books are the personal recommendation of one man, Andrew.
And that, is exciting.