Booksellers Hugh and Lisa Davies have come up with a novel approach to taking books out on the road. Ahead of the mobile bookshop’s debut at the Two Rivers Book Festival event in Lowestoft tomorrow, they explain all
Independent bookstore owners Hugh and Lisa Davies have thousands upon thousands of preloved tomes in their shop in historic Lowestoft. But how to reach a wider audience? The couple came up idea of a pedal-powered bookshop which will be making its first appearance in Lowestoft at the Two Rivers book festival tomorrow evening.
The shop-bike is based at Book and Prints in the High Street, a short uphill ride from the festival venue at Christ Church Hall. Hugh and Lisa dreamt up the idea because they wanted to take their bookshop to events in the wider community.
Hugh says: ‘Our bookshop is full of thousands of carefully curated preloved books helping to bring more people to the old High Street in historic Lowestoft, but we are always looking for ways to reach a wider audience.
‘Second-hand books fit well into the reuse and recycle zeitgeist. So, when it came to taking our bookshop out to local events, it seemed a completely natural solution to custom build a mobile bookshop onto a bicycle trailer.’
They designed and built the answer from plywood and high-performance resins. Three wooden storage boxes transform into a roadworthy bicycle trailer which unfolds into a six- foot-high double-sided bookshop complete with a protective umbrella canopy. It can display over 200 books and a selection of their own handmade prints.
Lisa is thrilled with the result. ‘We are delighted that for our first trip out with the mobile bookshop we have been invited to the Two Rivers book festival event here in Lowestoft.’
First in the East features distinguished publisher and Booker prize judge Liz Calder and Lowestoft producer Genevieve Christie talking about Flipside, Full Circle books and the First Light festival. They are joined by Nathan Hamilton, Full Circle’s new publisher at the UEA. The event is chaired by Lowestoft-based publisher and ex-creative writing professor, Martin Goodman. And of course the mobile bookshop will be there, stocking titles from Full Circle, UEA and Barbican Press.
Hugh again. ‘The response already has been great: a Book Festival, a Heritage Maritime Fair and an Organic Farm Open Day! We’re really looking forward to seeing where more invitations to events take us next!’
Visit Books and Prints, Instagram and First in the East – Waveney & Blyth Arts. The mobile bookshop will also be appearing at the Heritage Open Days Heritage Maritime Fair on Saturday September 11 and the Clinks Care Farm Open Day on Sunday September 12.
Picture Credit: Lisa Hurcrum