To survive the digital era, bookstores need to become cultural destinations where printed matter is celebrated in all its forms.
‘Bookartbookshop’, on the corner of Pitfield street, Shoreditch, has been thriving for 13 years, attracting independent press curious and enthusiasts with limited edition art books and collectible publications.
“It’s not just a business, it’s mainly a crossroad”, says Chiara Ambrosio, visual artist who works in the little store run by owner Tanya Peixoto, “It survives because there is a need for it. People come here to consult books and meet like-minded individuals and artists. It’s really a resource.”
The shop opened as a platform for publishing artists, celebrating the idea of books as objects, journeys, artworks, rather than just stories.
“Only half of the experience of reading is in the actual words, even more so with artists’ books, as there is so much care put into choosing what paper is used, how it is bound, the printing process, the smell of it”.
Chiara is sipping a coffee behind the small counter while some people wonder around, their heads dipped into the wooden shelves packed with rare editions and small runs.
‘Bookartbookshop’ is committed to its role as point of contact for the community and organises meetings, readings and events on a regular basis; it also actively contribute to the independent press scene, housing a small publishing – Atlas Press – in the basement.
“The windows are exhibiting spaces, there is a regular turn around of artists and we have openings. The idea is to keep the space as a vibrant place for encounters”, Chiara remarks: “Everything comes from encounters, Tanya goes around fairs to find what fits within the spirit of the place, but then a lot of people just turn up at the shop. There is a place for everybody, within reason! Any book that has a very strong intention will be welcomed”.
More info at Bookartbookshop Website