We have had a hugely positive response to Pages Cheshire Street since we opened a year ago, with many people becoming emotional as they walk in. The shop has been a destination and for many, been a safe space to browse, have conversations, for meetings of minds. We worked hard to put the shop on the map, running over thirty literary events in under a year, including with gal-dem, Deborah Levy, Sabrina Mahfouz, Meg-John Barker and many more. We successfully applied for Arts Council Funding for our literary events programme, enabling us to pay speakers. We’ve established a collaboration with Virago, curated shelves with gal-dem and Bloody Good Period, and crowd sourced an Alternative Canon.
It is therefore with regret that we have taken the decision to move on from Cheshire Street due to issues of unaffordable rents and punitive business rates, currently being fought admirably by the East End Trades Guild and the Booksellers Association. However, rather than continuing to fight these battles on Cheshire Street, we have chosen to regroup and actively look for a new space with lower rent. We will close the bookshop in its current physical space on 26th April this year. While we look for new space, we will continue to foster our community as an online subscription ; to recommend new books by women, trans and gender diverse writers via social media; and to showcase our selection at books fairs, starting with the Radical Book Fair on 27th June. In the meantime, we continue to run our hugely successful event series from the Cheshire Street shop.
Our original award-winning shop, Pages of Hackney, continues to be an important part of the community on Lower Clapton Road and beyond, and will retain its emphasis on inclusivity, marginalised voices and intersectional feminism, as well as offering a diverse events programme, such as forthcoming events with Niven Govinden and trans activist Juno Roche.
If you know of a physical space we might rent or share, do get in touch. Likewise any organisation we could collaborate with while maintaining a financially viable business in line with our agenda. Please do continue to support Pages in our Clapton location or through our subscription service. All our Alternative Canon titles and recommended books will continue to be available to purchase online.