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The Book Stop St Helens Poetry Window Display

About Us
Discover more about us and our journey

Who We Are

Who We Are

Our bookshop is owned by the community, run by the community and most importantly; exists for the benefit of the community. We stock a wide range of new books, both fiction and non-fiction with over 5,000 titles in store and are able to order in most books within 24 hours for customer orders. We can also accommodate larger orders for schools and libraries, with competitive discount rates for bulk purchases.

Following a successful community share issue we raised £45,000 from over 350 investors. This amount was matched by the Community Shares Booster Programme. We also secured significant funding from the Steve Morgan Foundation. The funds raised allowed us to invest in a prominent but vacant unit on Bridge Street and enabled us to open for business on Friday 26 November 2021.

Brian Leyland was the inspiration and driving force behind founding the St Helens Book Stop and served as Chair of the Trustees. His love of St Helens – the town, the community, and of course its rugby team – played a major part in his life. After publishing his own book, St Helens: the Great and the Good, he took on the challenge of creating a community bookshop in the town centre to deliver a whole range of further benefits to the community.

Can you support us?

As a community benefit society, most of our funding comes from charitable donations, our members, and occasional small grants for specific work. We are not funded by the local council or government. Any profits made from sales go towards keeping the lights on and reinvesting in new books, events and workshops that promote reading for pleasure. If you are able, please support us with a purchase, a donation or consider joining as a member to enable us to continue to provide new books to the people of St Helens.

Our membership is open and if you would like to become a shareholder click here. We are very proud of the lovely space we have created and we would love to see you in the shop. You can also support us by purchasing your books through our page on where we receive a commission from every sale.


We are all facing financial uncertainty in these challenging times and we understand now more than ever that people are facing financial strain. As we continue to show what it is to be community, any financial gift, no matter the size, would go towards our goal of raising the literacy rate in our town.

Our Vision
Image by Gülfer ERGİN

Our Vision

Uniquely, as a community bookshop, we are committed to improving the literacy rate in St Helens, one of the most deprived areas in England. To achieve this, we have a strong focus and commitment to four main goals:

To improve access to books and literature in St Helens and surrounding boroughs with a view to enhancing reading and literacy opportunities, especially for children.

In addition to selling books, run a range of events that promote literacy and the arts.

Form partnerships and work closely with the library and school services.

Create a socially inclusive and welcoming environment for all members of the local community.

Our Journey
Meet the Team

Our Team


Nik Lowe, Manager at The Book Stop

Nik Lowe


Nik's favourite genre is fantasy and also enjoys non-fiction political and smart thinking books


Calla Rylance

Assistant Manager

Calla enjoys film-making and her favourite book is A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara


The Book Stop volunteer team

Marion Hobbs

Marion is a former college lecturer and enjoys historical fiction and smart thinking.

The Book Stop volunteer team

Jeff Fletcher

Jeff is a former council member and Cub Scout leader and enjoys military history.

The Book Stop volunteer team

Debra Gardner

Debra enjoys cruises and her favourite genre is historical fiction and mystery novels.

The Book Stop volunteer team

Ken Tilston

Ken is a former trade union member and HR consultant. His favourite author is Stephen King. 

The Book Stop volunteer team

Janet Hawkins

Janet enjoys walking in the countryside and her favourite genre is historical fiction.

The Book Stop volunteer team

Megan Jenkins

Megan is a surface pattern designer and has produced some lovely bookmarks for the shop.

The Book Stop volunteer team

Anne James

Anne enjoys music and her favourite genre is cosy crime and murder mystery.


Emily Dixon

Emily studies history at York University and would like to enter the publishing industry.


The Book Stop Trustee

Mike Gaskell


Mike is our Chair and former solicitor. He enjoys historical non-fiction.

The Book Stop Trustee

Lisa Isaac


Lisa brings project management skills to the board and her favourite genre is Scandi Noir

The Book Stop Trustee

Jess Evans


Jess enjoys running and beat her personal best time in the local 10k. She enjoys historical fiction.

The Book Stop Trustee

Tom Harrison


Tom brings a wealth of financial knowledge and expertise and enjoys Thriller/Mystery fiction.

The Book Stop Trustee

Steve Davies


Steve enjoys music and walking his dog and his favourite genre is Thriller fiction.

The Book Stop Trustee

Rhyannon Parry


Rhyannon brings funding expertise and is an artist. She enjoys fantasy fiction.

The Book Stop Trustee

Mike Webster


Mike enjoys rugby league, especially Saints and his favourite fiction is Tartan and Irish Noir.

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