Bookshop News Roundup: The much-later-than-planned Friday Edition

IT’S ANOTHER MIXED BAG of news in this much-later-than-planned roundup, which begins with some exciting events and developments in Birmingham, Huddersfield and Market Harborough, but unfortunately ends on two very sad notes: the forthcoming closure of Plymouth’s Christian Literature Centre (aka The Upper Room Bookshop) and the death of Ali Charlesworth, former manager of Scunthorpe’s The Well bookshop…

Birmingham: An Evening with Cee

AN INVITATION from Authentic Media and Wesley Owen Birmingham to meet Claudette Schlittler for the launch of her autobiography,  I Am Loved:

An Evening With Cee: Friday 21st Sept, 7.30pm at Carrs Lane Church, Birmingham

An Evening With Cee: An invitation to meet author and singer Claudette Schlittler on Friday 21st Sept, 7.30pm at Carrs Lane Church, Birmingham

Wesley Owen are also conducting a survey into reading habits, with an opportunity to enter a prize draw to win £100 of books from Authentic: Help Us To Help You. Understanding Your Reading Habits

Huddersfield: Christian Books Reopens

CONGRATULATIONS to Val Clarke (who left the Christian Bookshop, Birkenhead, earlier this year) and everyone involved at Christian Books Huddersfield on the shop’s reopening following refurbishment and restocking.

The shop reopened at 12 noon on Saturday 1st September with celebrations including live music and light refreshments. Local church leaders attended the opening, which has been greeted with enthusiasm by the town’s Christian community.

Market Harborough: New Website

New website for Living Word Christian Bookshop

New website for Living Word Christian Bookshop

CONGRATULATIONS to David Shepherd at Market Harborough’s Living Word Christian Bookshop on the launch of their new website:

It’s a straightforward info portal for the shop with an integrated Amazon aStore for customers who prefer to buy online, and still very much a work in progress with all feedback and suggestions for improvements welcome…

David is also seeking volunteers to help out in the shop: if you live in the area and would like to get involved, please give him a shout.

Plymouth: Christian Literature Centre Closing Down

PLYMOUTH’S CHRISTIAN LITERATURE CENTRE — also known as the Upper Room Bookshop — made local headlines last month, but for all the wrong reasons: the shop is scheduled for closure at the end of this year. The usual culprits receive the blame: the economic downturn and online competition, with Amazon prices proving particularly challenging…

This is Plymouth, 22/8/2012: Iconic Plymouth bookshop to close after more than 60 years

This is Plymouth, 22/8/2012: Iconic Plymouth bookshop to close after more than 60 years

… trade had begun to dry up due to the recession in the 1990s. The new millennium and the arrival of the internet meant that The Upper Room ended up fighting a losing battle.

“We saw a steady decline for several years, but it has accelerated, especially over the last two-three years. Like everybody else, we’re fighting competition from Amazon.”

“They can sometimes sell books cheaper than we can buy ours from the dealers. In the end, we were not making enough profit to make a living for my husband and I,” Anne Landricombe said.

Anne goes on to explain that whilst The Upper Room’s story may be over, it needn’t be the end of Christian bookselling in Plymouth if local church leaders can be persuaded to invest in a more community centre based venture, with a bookshop included as part of the project rather than as its mainstay.

Read the full story:

Scunthorpe: Ali Charlesworth RIP

LAST BUT NOT LEAST, Ali Charlesworth, former manager of The Well, Scunthorpe, lost her battle against cancer at the end of August. A celebration of Ali’s life was held today at Scunthorpe Baptist Church followed by a private family service at the crematorium.

Please pray for her friends and family — her husband and children in particular — as they face a difficult future without her.