Bookshop of the Year

Tertulia wins Bookshop of the year 2021 - island of ireland

Winner: Island of Ireland

Ireland’s champion is County Mayo’s Tertulia, a Spanish word for a circle of people discussing books. It has become a cultural hub since opening in 2019, and used media coverage, a new website and its own Tertulia TV to keep patrons loyal despite 24 weeks of lockdown in Ireland.

Last year was difficult for the entire trade but indie booksellers were perhaps at the very sharpest end of the pandemic. Yet as we can see by the 48 entries on the Independent Bookshop of the Year regional shortlists, indies tackled lockdown restrictions, an uncertain supply chain and the increased share of a certain e-tailer with vigour, creativity and innovation. These shops shifted their business models no matter if they were venerable, like 134-year-old Sam Read and 95-year-old Village Books, or relative newcomers like 2019 entrants like Tring’s Our Bookshop and The Margate Bookshop. 

The bottom line is clear: indies will continue to thrive, no matter what is thrown at them.