Oval Partnership Briefing Note
Bookshops are an important addition to any shopping area. They bring in new customers and make an area attractive to other potential investors. More importantly, they help build a sense of community. Good bookshops operate an ordering service and can get books in by the following day - faster than most online retailers who also add postal charges. There is currently one very good general bookshop in the neighbourhood- The Kennington Bookshop.
The main trade association for those selling new books is the Booksellers Association. If you have ever given or received a book token it comes from them. The Antiquarian Booksellers Association (ABA) is “for dealers in rare and fine books, manuscripts and allied materials in the British Isles and elsewhere”.. The Provincial Booksellers Fairs Association is for those who sell antiquarian and/or secondhand books.
The Kennington Bookshop opened in 2007 replacing a video shop which previously occupied the premises. It is a general bookshop carrying a wide range of books to suit young or old. It is open seven days a week. In the unlikely event that they don’t have something for you already in stock they provide an excellent ordering service.
Although it is now closed, the Oval Bookshop (2002-2006) is worth a mention. It was a general bookshop in Clapham Road at the corner of Claylands Road. It replaced a special interest bookshop called ‘Books in the Belfry’. It is an example of a small shop which, in the view of the owner, was damaged by changes to the local economy namely:
What was a thriving bookshop failed as a result of external changes. However, although the premises remained empty for some time, it is pleasing to note that a new business emerged better able to cope with the new business environment.