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It’s official: the UK’s best independent bookshop is in a remote Welsh town



Bookshops aren’t just places to pick up your next read. The best ones are cosy, wholesome environments where you can find whole worlds at you fingertips. They’ll have shopkeepers able to point you to hidden gems and build literature-loving communities with events, panels and bookclubs. 

Nowhere does all of that better than indie bookshops. Back in Febraury 77 independent bookshops across the UK were shortlisted for Independent Bookshop of the Year at the British Book Awards 2024. And the winner has now officially been announced!

Book-ish, an indie shop in the small town of Crickhowell in the Brecon Beacons, won the top prize for the second year in a row. Judges said that it earned the coveted title for its knowledgable staff, the expert curation of its books, its pretty aesthetics and offering of events throughout the year. 

Tom Tivnan, chair of the judges, called the place ‘one of those rarest of entities: a local bookshop that can make its voice heard nationally’. 

Celebrating the win, Emma Corfield-Walters, founder of Book-ish, said: ‘I’m absolutely thrilled, it’s so huge to bring it back to Crickhowell because it’s such an amazing community, it’s only 3,000 people, so it’s really special. It gives me real confidence in what we do, how we do it and hopefully, the fact it’s been Welsh in three out of the four years shows, obviously we’ve got something magic happening there.’

For more novel content (geddit?), check out Time Out’s lists of the best bookshops in London, the finest indie stores in Manchester and our favourite booksellers in Edinburgh. And make sure to keep an eye out for the TikTok-inspired bookshelves set to pop up in UK cities this summer. 

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