Bristol bookshop owner says more people have turned to reading during Covid pandemic

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The owner of an independent bookshop from Bristol says his business has had its busiest year yet because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Sam Taylor, who owns Max Minerva's in Westbury Park, told ITV News West Country: “I think people are rediscovering the joys of reading. Staying home and having more social time on their hands. They are rediscovering the joy in holding a book."

Sam believes the need for escapism within the current social climate is causing people to read more.

“There’s definitely a lot of escapism going on," he said.

"There’s also a lot of self-education going on so over the summer we had Black Lives Matter and there was a lot of books sold around that, and an increase in people wanting books by black authors.

"You get spikes about topics and politics."

Sam Taylor in his bookshop in Bristol. Credit: ITV West Country

The Booksellers Association says the number of independent bookshops is rising.

Meryl Halls from The Booksellers Association said: “They know how to sell books they know to deal with their communities. They know how to engage their communities. They know how to survive."

In the first lockdown Sam's bookshop turned to online sales. Since then, they've started a click and collect system.

Despite the struggle high streets have been facing, Sam thinks that independent shops like his are getting more attention.

He said: “I think people are rediscovering their high streets. There is a more vocal backlash against the online giants.”