Independent Bookshop of the Year - Press Release


Penarth’s Griffin Books has been announced as the overall winner of the Independent Bookshop of the Year Award. The award was announced at The British Book Awards 2023 ceremony at a buzzing Grosvenor House London on Monday 15 May.

The Independent Bookshop of the Year Award, sponsored by Gardners, was awarded to Griffin Books, previously named the country winner in Wales. This year it fought off strong competition from eight other regional and country winners, selected from a list of 59 finalists from across the UK and the Island of Ireland.

Opening its doors in 2014, Griffin Books is a community focused independent bookstore, known for hosting excellent author events, book signings, toddler storytime sessions and a number of book clubs for adults, children and teens. With a speedy online home delivery service, the coastal town staple was praised for its adaptability, emerging from Brexit, the pandemic, and cost-of-living crisis closer to its community and stronger than ever.

Tom Tivnan, The Bookseller managing editor and chair of the Independent Bookshop of the Year judges, said: “In many ways it has been a watershed 12 months for indie bookshops in general across the UK and Ireland. Consequently, this has been arguably the most competitive Independent Bookshop of the Year with nine incredibly strong regional and country winners. Yet, Griffin Books caught the judging panel’s eye by going above and beyond. It is one of the smallest shops to ever to win this award, but its unceasing innovation means its footprint far exceeds its square footage. From its knock-out events stream (including its own literary festival) to subscription services and its online arm, Griffin Books has consistently demonstrated that its impact stretches far beyond its four walls. Above all, Griffin’s local ties – such as its work with schools, charities and even sponsoring a football club – show just how important a bookshop can be to a community.”

Ruth Gardner, Gardners’ UK Sales Manager, said: “At Gardners we are proud to be sponsoring this award of which we have been doing for well over a decade! The cash prize we offer is to show our ongoing commitment to indie books sellers throughout the UK! We congratulate Griffin books for winning this most coveted award this year and hope they can use the money to enhance their offer to their customers even more.”

Mel Griffin, owner of Griffin Books, said: "I'm very proud of what we have achieved as a team; it's wonderful to have all of our hard work recognised. This wouldn't have been possible without the support of our customers and the local community. This award means a lot to us, but also says a lot about the vibrancy of independent businesses in Penarth and throughout Wales."

The Independent Bookshop of the Year Award celebrates those stores that continue to support their local communities with bespoke bookselling and tailored initiatives. The British Book Awards affirm, connect and energise all who have a hand in creating books and all who read them, by showcasing the authors and illustrators who have stirred our hearts and imaginations, and the industry behind the scenes who have brought them to readers.

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