This month’s Bookshop of the Month is The Stripey Badger, which stocks titles of all genres, book-related gifts and cards, and Yorkshire maps and guide books. We spoke with Linda and her son James about what it was like initially setting up their shop three years ago and how it’s been running an independent bookshop in the Yorkshire Dales since.
1. When you set up The Stripey Badger, what was your bookselling vision?
We opened three years ago and, to be honest, our vision was simply to have a shop filled with books! But we did imagine running literary events and community events and that is how it has panned out.
2. What’s it like running a bookshop in the Yorkshire Dales? How have you seen the area change over the years?
We are in a village with a strong rural community, village schools and a thriving library/hub. So our customer service has to match those needs. But we are also a tourist destination, so we also stock local books and walking guides and the like. Staycation has been huge every time we have been able to open up in Covid times, so we have also had to think about our stock and stock levels to keep pace. And, of course, All Creatures Great and Small used Grassington as Darrowby and our bookshop was G F Endleby in the show. The visitors coming as a result of this successful show has increased our footfall and this is expected to rise as the overseas visitors return.
3. How do you go about choosing the books that line your shelves?
James loves science and sci-fi, Linda loves history, and both love natural history and quirky books! So, after those books are chosen, we select from best-seller lists, publisher recommendations, signed books and indie specials to give us a unique selling point over Amazon and such.
4. If you could recommend one book published in the past year, what would it be?
We have two recommendations: 1) The Power of Geography blew us and our shelves away! And 2) by far and away, our best selling hardback was followed very closely by one of our favourite authors Stacey Halls, whose Mrs England nearly took the award for most hardbacks sold.
5. And finally, do you have any exciting plans for the shop in the coming months that you’d like to share with us?
Yes – we are recruiting and very excited at the opportunities this will allow us! We have been so busy when open during Covid times, and the support for indies as opposed to online sales has been huge. Besides, staycation could be here for a while yet, so we intend to increase our social media presence, organise a proper event calendar and put on great window displays!