the latest independent bookstore opens in York

If it’s been a second since your last impulse book purchase, read on

It’s good news for York’s bookworms and crime fiction fans as the city’s newest independent bookshop, Criminally Good Books, has now opened after much anticipation from locals.

The bookstore opened on March 5 and during the first week of the store’s opening, customers can enjoy a 10 percent store discount on everything. The store is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In addition to providing a comfortable space to freely browse the diverse collection of books, the store will also function as a venue for unique events such as author signings and fingerprint classes, as well as a recording studio for podcasters.

Located just off The Shambles at 14 Colliergate, the store offers a range of genres for its customers, some of which include: crime fiction, mystery, thriller, historical and true crime books, many of which are special editions, signed or gift editions. according to Indie York.

The store was previously owned by Village Gallery, which closed in April 2023. Isla took over the lease in November 2023 and she told York Mix that since the bookshop opening was revealed, “people have been messaging asking when we’re opening, asking if they can work in the shop, if they can bring well-behaved dogs inside while they sniff around.”

After numerous setbacks that prevented the store from opening earlier, as reported by York Mix, the store’s manager, Isla Coole, emphasized: “We won’t have everything ready on the first day, but we will have really nice editions and signed editions and we have many events planned and booked in the calendar. She also told The Tab, “I plan to add more features and additions to the store.”

A percentage of sales of the book covers and bookmarks will also go to IDAS, charity partner of Criminally Good Books, which supports people affected by domestic and sexual violence.

Isla’s ambition to open a bookshop and her passion for reading are not new, as she told York Mix: ‘My love of books started with my father who worked for Harper Collins Publishers and who would always come home with bags full of books on a weekly basis for the family to browse through.

“We grew up with Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot by Agatha Christie, but also with Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.”

Speaking to The Tab, Isla said: “York has a long history of publishing, printing and independent bookshops, but over the years that has diminished as a few bookshops have closed in recent years. I really wanted to open a bookshop and I live in York so, combined with my love of crime fiction and York’s history and tourism, I thought this would be the perfect place. Bookshops that have closed include Fossgate Books on Fossgate, Ken Spelman on Micklegate and The Grimoire Bookshop on High Petergate.

Isla added: “The only concerns I had were not making money or finding the right location, but we have a great little shop in a busy area so let’s hope we can cover our costs.”

When asked what led her to open a bookstore dedicated to crime fiction and true crime, Isla said, “Crime and true crime are among the fast-growing genres, so it seemed like a no-brainer to specialize. We already have some great bookshops in York, such as Little Apple Bookshop, The Portal Bookshop and The Minster Gate Books, so I wanted to create something different, a niche, and hopefully not recreate what already exists.

Looking to the future of Criminally Good Books, Isla said: “We want Criminally Good Books to be a place where people can learn more about the genre, meet other interested readers, hang out and get book recommendations and just have a fun, homely atmosphere. . We want people to come together through our events that we will be hosting in store and other locations around York with some fantastic authors.

More information about the store can be found on Indie York and updates can be found on their Instagram. Or head to their website to sign up for their mailing list – stay informed and satisfy your inner detective.

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