Shop Local: Hart’s Books Christmas presents include tailored subscription service

PUBLISHED: 07:00 19 November 2020

Hart's Books. Photo: ANDRA MACIUCA.

Hart's Books. Photo: ANDRA MACIUCA.

ANDRA MACIUCA

Hart’s Books in Saffron Walden is offering a subscription service for a year which customers can buy as Christmas presents.

Max Shorter, bookshop manager at Hart’s Books, said the business had to close this month because of the lockdown, but he said there are several ways in which the business adapted.

He said that a tailored book subscription may be the perfect present this Christmas. The staff gives subscribers a book a month based on their interests.

He added: “I would say what sets us apart is the expertise of the book sellers, and we are very happy to offer recommendations. We are very friendly and very knowledgeable. We are very keen to make sure we match the right book to the right person.”

Hart’s has also been delivering to nearby villages, including free deliveries within five miles from the shop.

The bookshop has also been sending books by post and updating their website and social media accounts.

But Max said staff “cannot wait” to get the shop doors back open again.

He said: “I am a strong believer that going to browse in a physical, brick and mortar book shop cannot be beaten at all, but, if our customers can’t come to the shop, we had to find solutions.

“The long-term plan is to get back to the good old-fashioned way of selling books, that has worked for thousands of years prior.”

Currently, Hart’s is offering a collection service from the bookshop door, where staff can also sell and recommend books during usual opening hours.

Customers can find Christmas book recommendations on the website, as well as in the shop window, from fiction and non-fiction, to children’s books.

Max said the business, which started as a printing press 184 years ago, is “synonymous with book selling” in the heart of Saffron Walden, and praised local residents’ support.

He said: “I think people feel that the independent businesses contribute to the town’s character.

“We want to be a hub of culture and education, and the support from the community is the lifeblood of our independent shop.”


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