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Welsh bookshop wins prize for best independent bookshop in UK

15 May 2023 3 minute read
Griffin Books has won the 2023 Independent Bookshop of the Year

A quaint bookshop in Wales has been announced as the as the winner of the Independent Bookshop of the Year Award.

The prize, sponsored by Gardners, was awarded to Griffin Books in Penarth which was previously been named the country winner in Wales.

This year the bookshop fought off strong competition from eight other regional and country winners, selected from a list of 59 finalists from across the UK and Ireland.

Opening its doors in 2014, Griffin Books is a community focused independent bookstore, known for hosting excellent author events, book signings, weekly toddler story time sessions and a number of book clubs for adults, children and teens.


Owned by Mel Griffen, the shop boasts a speedy online home delivery service and has been praised for its adaptability, emerging from Brexit, the pandemic, and a cost-of- living crisis closer to its community and stronger than ever.

Tom Tivnan, The Bookseller managing editor and chair of the Independent Bookshop of the Year judges, said: “In many ways it has been a watershed 12 months for indie bookshops in general across the UK and Ireland.

“Consequently, this has been arguably the most competitive Independent Bookshop of the Year with nine incredibly strong regional and country winners.

“Yet, Griffin Books caught the judging panel’s eye by going above and beyond. It is one of the smallest shops to
ever to win this award, but its unceasing innovation means its footprint far exceeds its square footage.

“From its knock-out events stream (including its own literary festival) to subscription services and its online arm, Griffin has consistently demonstrated that its impact stretches far beyond its four walls. Above all, Griffin’s local ties – such as its work with schools, charities and even sponsoring a football club – show just how important a bookshop can be to a community.”

Ruth Gardner, Gardners’ UK Sales Manager, said: “At Gardners we are proud to be sponsoring this award of which we have been doing for well over a decade! The cash prize we offer is to show our ongoing commitment to indie books sellers throughout the UK!

“We congratulate Griffin books for winning this most coveted award this year and hope they can use the money to enhance their offer to their customers even more.”

The Independent Bookshop of the Year Award celebrates those stores that continue to support their local communities with bespoke bookselling and tailored initiatives.

The British Book Awards affirm, connect and energise all who have a hand in creating books and all who read them, by showcasing the authors and illustrators who have stirred our hearts and imaginations, and the industry behind the scenes who have brought them to readers.

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Richard Winder
Richard Winder
1 year ago

This is a great little bookshop, the award is deserved.Remember dear people please support your local booksbop,we have lost too many..A always a welcome gift and browsing in a real.bookshop much more fun than enriching Amazon.

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