New grooves for Chiswick indie

Image above: Adam Bloom, owner of Bookcase

Vinyl is set to make a comeback to Chiswick High Rd with a book shop making plans to branch out into LPs.

Owner of independent retailer Bookcase, Adam Bloom, intends to launch his new project in the shop’s basement in the new year.

“It’s a growing market,” he told The Chiswick Calendar. “It’s now quite cool.”

He plans to feature jazz, classical and ‘classic’ artists but will be steering clear of certain genres. “We won’t be selling Miley Cyrus and that kind of thing,” he said definitively.

The basement will also have art books on display, including photography, architecture, design and fashion. By clearing the basement, currently used for storage, the shop will be two thirds bigger and will make more room on the ground floor for history, fiction, crime fiction, as well as books on the mind, body and spirit, and a children’s section.

“It’s an exciting project,” said Adam. The renovation will include moving the staircase to the front of the shop, which will be closed for about 10 days after Christmas while the work is carried out.

Images above: Blind date with a book 

A blind date with a book

Independent bookshops are having a bit of a resurgence at the moment, according to the Booksellers Association, coping with the challenges of the past 18 months with “resilience, resourcefulness and dedication” and being rewarded with loyalty from their local communities.

One innovation Adam has introduced in Chiswick has been the ‘blind date with a book’ concept. Customers are offered a display of fiction wrapped in brown paper with a few descriptive phrases on the packaging to whet the appetite, but no title or author on display.

Examples include: ‘Decadence / Denial / Berlin 1950s / Morality / Classic’ or ‘Good vs Evil / Fears and desires / Fantasy horror / Classic / Ride the carousel’.

“I didn’t get it at first,” Adam told me. “I thought you were supposed to take the book with you on a blind date, but no, the book is the ‘blind date’. It’s actually a really clever idea and since we started it almost a year ago, it’s been really popular.”

There are five bookshops in London selling them and Bookcase is the only one in west London.

“People stop and look and take a picture of the stand to post on their social media.”

Suspicious of the motives of someone selling something vague and unknown, I asked him if it was a way of getting rid of old stock.

“No,” he said, “I know the two women who choose the books and they’re very talented and successful booksellers, so I know they wouldn’t put in any old rubbish.”

At £7 a book it sounds like a perfect Secret Santa present.

Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar

See also: A resurgence in independent bookshops

See also: Which toys are popular in Chiswick this Christmas?

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