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It's official: The Little Ripon Bookshop has been named one of the best in the country!

Gill and Simon Edwards
Gill and Simon Edwards

It's confirmed what so many of us already knew -  a prestigious industry shortlist has named The Little Ripon Bookshop as one of the best in the country.

Owners Gill and Simon Edwards said they feel overwhelmed to have been listed alongside only four other bookshops in the north of England for The British Book Awards' independent bookshop of the year category.

The Edwards have worked hard to increase the number of in-store events and make the place even more of a community hub.

Gill said: "We are absolutely delighted to be on the list, it's wonderful. The feedback we've had from customers has been amazing - when we put the news out on Facebook and Instagram, so many people said they'd voted and left comments to show their support. It's been overwhelming."

Only last week, Gill and Simon did a talk for Ripon Civic Society about what it's like to trade Ripon at the moment as an independent bookshop. For them, the everyday joy of running the business is getting to know their customers and watching books bring people together.

Gill said: "It's definitely the variety of customers you get in, you feel like you are getting involved in their lives in some way.

"We have mums coming in who are pregnant, then they come in with their children, then they start coming to storytime, then you see them starting school. You see people growing up.

"Customers confirm your belief in human nature, people are so nice."

Gill said an important part of running any independent business is making the customer experience as personal as possible.

She said: "It's about building those relationships, getting to know your customers, and enjoying being a part of the community. We don't take our customers for granted, we put a lot of work into giving them a nice experience when they come in."

To vote for The Little Ripon Bookshop, visit: https://www.thebookseller.com/tell-us-about-your-favourite-independent-bookshop