I am a freelance writer, editor and teacher based in north London.
Published October 10th 2012
What could be better than an independent bookshop in the heart of Crouch End specialising in books for kids of all ages? In an age of grim faced high streets and monotonous rows of established retail names, it really gives me hope to see places like Pickled Pepper Books doing so well.
So what's the secret? It must be the fact that, rather than sit back and wait for customers to arrive, they actively seek them out with a fantastic series of events and activities in the shop.
Three times a week they hold storytime sessions and pop up reading events. They have screenings of kids films at the weekend and Pickled Pepper Books is home to the Blotted Ink writer's group, aimed at inspiring the next generation of literary icons. Who knows - the next Weekend Notes reviewers might be honing their craft as you read this article.
A couple of times a month the shop invites a writer or illustrator to come in and discuss their book or create an imaginative event based on the content of their work. This is not so much a shop as a little universe tucked away from reality, dealing in creativity, dreams and possibilities.
Whenever I see a shop working as hard as Pickled Pepper and providing the community with so much positivity, it makes me despair the spread of the chain stores even more. If you have young kids, make sure you get them involved in this little gem of a shop.