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September Independent Bookshop of the Month

 Our September Independent Bookshop of the Month is Five Leaves in Nottingham! Five Leaves Bookshop stock is orientated towards independent presses, but they have a good representation of other popular publishing houses too. The sections of their shop include young adult/teenage, spirituality, general and translated fiction, poetry, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, travel writing, politics. Something for everyone! We spoke to Ross who was happy to tell us a bit more about the shop. 

  • How did Five Leaves begin?

Five Leaves started as a publisher in 1995 - we have published at the last count 285 titles over the years, books and pamphlets. The bookshop itself started on 9 November 2013 with a much wider brief. Our main areas or interest are politics and poetry, feminism and LGBT... but we have lots of smaller areas of interest, such as autism, cityscape, landscape... Often our sections represent the interests of members of staff. We still publish, though not as many books as in the past, as the bookshop has grown.

  • Do you have any exciting plans for the future?

 In June Five Leaves won the Independent Bookshop of the Year Award at the British Book Awards and a few days ago the shop had a complete refit - which we completed in three days, the three days after our local Lowdham Book Festival's biggest day which we always organise, and Feminist Book Fortnight, which we initiated. FBF involved 50 bookshops, a library and a couple of art galleries. Our plans for the future involve working out what to do with FBF next! 

Our own Bread and Roses Festival is in November - when we concentrate on the radical side of the shop, including organising the Nottingham Radical Bookfair. We're currently working out our programme for the autumn. Last year we organised 88 events over the year (or 92, depending on which team member you ask) and this year will be about the same.

  • If you weren’t running a bookshop, what would you be doing?

Well, the three members of the team whose reading is mentioned all used to work in other bookshops, and in publishing, so we're pretty addicted. If we could run anything in addition to our shop it would be to take over the building next door and run a garden centre. We've already got a shop garden.

  • If you could meet any author or poet, dead or alive, who would you choose and why?

 If we could meet one author... a reading by Seamus Heaney would be nice. One of us exchanged letters with him - he was a lovely man - but none of us met him.