Category: Uncategorized

Indies in Scotland

I set out to explore the role of Indies in Scotland, focusing particularly on bookshops that are geographically remote. I was interested in business practices, especially the innovative and the entrepreneurial, as well as the challenges indie bookshops regularly have to face. I also explored the role these bookshops have in their local communities – the kind of extra, add-on qualities that are so difficult to represent on a spreadsheet.

Cultural Interaction Spaces

It is now 90 days since lockdown began in Wales, and I am still wishing I had stopped at my local bookstore on my way home the day before it happened.

This exile from the space of the bookstore has developed my appreciation for the experience offered by that counter-space where commerce and culture agree a tenuous pact of co-existence. This balancing act happens within an identifiable physical location, within borders defined by the walls of the room, the limits of the market stall, or the edges of the book table. Within that defined space, that cultural / commercial balance creates a meaningful location, a normalcy specific to that space–a type of commercial and a cultural identity that may not exist beyond its bounds. Such meaningful locations exist in more than just bookstores, of course. Churches, hospitals, ancient monuments, the local garden centre, the town recycling centre–all of these spaces define a normalcy that dissipates as one moves away from them.