At the heart of St Helens
What is an independent community bookshop?
In an age of online shopping and digital media, it's easy to forget the simple pleasures of wandering through a bookstore, picking up a physical book, and flipping through its pages. But for many book lovers, nothing can replace the joy of discovering new stories and authors in a cozy, community-oriented bookstore. The Book Stop's Here, located in St Helens, Merseyside, is one such bookstore.
The Book Stop’s Here is not just any bookstore. It is a social enterprise, meaning that it operates with the primary goal of benefiting the community rather than generating profits for its owners or shareholders. The bookstore was founded in 2019 by Brian Leyland and a group of volunteers as a community benefit society who wanted to create a welcoming space for people to come together and share their love of books. They wanted to create a space that was accessible to everyone, regardless of their income level or background.
A community bookshop is a social enterprise that sells books and other literary materials to the public. However, unlike a traditional bookstore, a community bookshop is focused on more than just selling books. They are also dedicated to promoting literacy and improving the reading skills of children in their community.
The bookstore is run by a dedicated team of volunteers who are passionate about literature and making a positive impact in their community. All of the profits from book sales go back into the store, allowing it to offer affordable prices and a wide selection of books to its customers. The store also hosts events such as book clubs, author talks, and poetry readings, which are open to everyone and often free of charge.
The Book Stop’s Here has quickly become a hub for the community, with regular customers ranging from young children to retirees. The store's cozy atmosphere and friendly staff make it a welcoming place for anyone looking to escape the bustle of daily life and lose themselves in a good book. The bookstore also works with local schools and community groups to promote literacy and a love of reading, donating books and hosting events that encourage young people to explore the world of literature.
In addition to selling books, The Book Stop’s Here also offers a range of other services. The store has a small cafe area where customers can grab a cup of coffee and a pastry while they browse, and it also sells unique book-related gifts such as bookmarks, journals, and tote bags. The store is committed to sustainability, offering a range of environmentally friendly products such as reusable coffee cups and water bottles.
The Book Stop’s Here is more than just a bookstore. It is a community space that brings people together and promotes a love of literature and learning. By operating as a social enterprise, the store is able to give back to the community and make a positive impact on the lives of its customers. If you're in the St Helens area and you love books, be sure to stop by The Book Stop's Here and discover all that we have to offer.
We're a community benefit society, which means that our business model is designed to benefit the local community rather than just making a profit for shareholders. We believe that this is a vital way to run a business, and we want to explain why becoming a shareholder in our bookshop is so important.
Firstly, let's talk about what being a shareholder means. When you buy shares in The Book Stop, you become a part-owner of our bookshop. This means that you have a say in how the business is run, and you can attend our AGMs to vote on important decisions. As a community benefit society, we are committed to being transparent and accountable to our shareholders, and we believe that this is an important way to build trust with our local community.
But being a shareholder in our bookshop isn't just about having a say in how we're run. It's also about supporting a local business that's committed to making a positive impact on our community. When you buy shares in The Book Stop, you're investing in a business that's dedicated to promoting literacy, supporting local authors and publishers, and creating a welcoming space for people of all ages to come and enjoy books.
And, of course, there are the book tokens. As a community benefit society, we are not allowed to pay dividends in the traditional sense. Instead, we offer book tokens to our shareholders as a way of saying thank you for their support. These tokens can be redeemed in our bookshop for any book of the shareholder's choice. This means that when you become a shareholder in The Book Stop, you're not just investing in a business, you're investing in your own reading pleasure!
So, why should you become a shareholder in The Book Stop? There are many reasons. You'll be supporting a local business that's committed to making a positive impact on the community. You'll have a say in how the business is run and can help shape our future. And, of course, you'll receive book tokens as a thank you for your investment.
We hope that we have inspired you to become a shareholder in The Book Stop's Here. If you're interested in finding out more, or you're ready to sign up, please contact us via email.