Exclusive: Harrogate to get new independent book store

New Harrogate book shop - Owner and author Georgia Duffy.
New Harrogate book shop - Owner and author Georgia Duffy.

Book lovers with long memories may remember the days when Harrogate had its own independent book shop.

Those days are set to return thanks to a self-confessed book addict.

Coming soon to Harrogate, a new book shop.

Coming soon to Harrogate, a new book shop.

A published author herself, twenty-something Georgia Duffy is to open the new shop called Imagined Things inside the upmarket surroundings of Westminster Arcade on Parliament Street.

Georgia, who lives in Harrogate, is putting her career as a radiographer at Harrogate District Hospital on hold to launch this exciting new venture.

She said: "I'm very excited about being surrounded by books all day. After being a radiographer for nearly six years,and getting my book published last year I realised that it was time to make what I thought could only be a dream a reality. And Imagined Things was born."

This new chapter in the town's retail history means that next month for the first time in nearly 20 years Harrogate will finally have its own indie bookshop again, just like its smaller neighbours Knaresborough and Ripon.

The timing of the new venture clearly reflects the recent revival of print book sales as the digital threat from the likes of e-books and Kindle has started to fade.

And the author of Futurespan, an imaginative novel in the science fiction and fantasy genre about a mystery involving young girl, says she thinks Harrogate is the perfect town for her new shop.

Georgia said: "There is nothing better than browsing for your next read in a physical bookshop. Nothing compares to flicking through the pages of an actual book.

"We care about books and reading but, more than that, we care about the local area and its people. We care about being at the heart of the community and working with customers.

I don't think there could be a better place than Harrogate for an independent bookshop. We want to add to the already strong literary roots of the town."

The aim of Imagined Things goes beyond selling books.

The environmentally-conscious Georgia is keen to make it a hub for literature lovers.

She said: "We want to work with local schools and the community to support literacy and get children excited about reading.

"We care about being local and support UK and Yorkshire companies wherever possible.

"You’ll never see a plastic bag at Imagined Things. We care about the environment."

Plans are in hand to open the new bookshop with a fanfare next month.

Once open, Georgia hopes the shop will host author events and signings to connect readers and authors.

And it is hoped that connections can be forged with the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival and the Harrogate History Festival.

In terms of its stocking policy, the owner of Imagined Things says it will sell an eclectic mix of books across a range of genres for adults, young adults and children.

She pledges to order any book, with many books arriving the next day.

The shop will also sell a unique range of cards, stationery and gifts to satisfy bibliophiles and non-bibliophiles alike.

There will also be a loyalty card scheme, discounts for book clubs, as well as various competitions and prize draws.