When Oxfam Books and Music opened in Wanstead High Street in 2010, Wansteadium (our other project) broke the news, saying: "[A]fter years of waiting, Wanstead is to get its own bookshop. OK, it’s a charity shop, and will sell second hand books, but nevertheless the news could give Wanstead High Street the boost it has been needing."
And it's been true - the Oxfam shop has given Wanstead brains a focal point. But a shop of that type can't quite scratch the itch that a desire for a bookshop represents. We have yearned for Wanstead to have its own bookshop, and as various premises have become empty over the years (Santander, the Painted House, Orange Tree, to name just a few) we have thought wistfully what an opportunity that would be for rows and rows of shelves stocking fiction, non-fiction, children's books and more.
Before Covid, it looked like there was a rise in independent bookshops in the UK after years of closures. But the virus has changed everything, and physical shops have become millstones round the necks of so many entrepreneurs.
So we are taking another approach - we're starting online, small but efficient, with a focus on Wanstead. If Wanstead readers decide there are enough reasons to buy from us rather from Amazon, then this could be quite a venture. Who knows where it might end? Somewhere on the High Street, we dearly wish.