Ask the book buyer about Independent Bookshop Week 2019

Dear reader,

A few weeks ago one of our customers posted a thoughtful message on social media in which they described the experience of browsing in our book department as ‘one of those simple pleasures’. I couldn’t agree more (and hope you do too!) that visiting a bookshop, browsing the shelves at your leisure, is a real treat. Being in an environment that celebrates books as much as you do can feel like a joy, an inspiration, perhaps a refuge.

From the 15th to 22nd June 2019, booksellers and readers are celebrating Independent Bookshop Week (IBW) across the UK and Ireland. Bookshops up and down the country will host events, celebrations, reading groups, storytelling, author signings and more (see the Jarrold events page for what we’re up to).

In honour of IBW I couldn’t resist making this edit a selection of books set in bookshops, each with memorable characters and stories reminding us how bookshops can play an essential part in the community.

Happy Independent Bookshop Week!


Bookshop of the Broken Hearted


Bookshop of the Broken Hearted

Robert Hillman


Released to independent bookshops exclusively this month, this new novel is the multi-layered story of a community in Australia in the 1960s. Lonely farmer Tom meets Jewish immigrant and Auschwitz survivor Hannah and through the process of building a bookshop together, the layers of heartbreak each has suffered is revealed. The story holds real sadness, particularly when we learn about the abuse Tom’s step-son is currently suffering in an ultra-religious community. But there is certainly redemption and through the dark times, Tom and Hannah come to terms with their losses and start to heal.


The Book Shop


The Bookshop

Penelope Fitzgerald


This edit wouldn’t be worth its salt without inclusion of Fitzgerald’s wise and witty classic, first published in 1978. It follows Florence Green in 1959 as she decides to open a bookshop in a small East Anglian town, despite fierce opposition. With unforgettable characters and full of depth and heart, I defy you not to read and re-read this, finding fresh insight every time. It isn’t a joyful ending but as the book blurb promises, Florence’s fate will ‘strike a chord with anyone who knows that life has treated them with less than justice’.


Readers of the Broekn Wheel Recommend


The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

Katarina Bivald


Recently dramatised on BBC Radio 4, we’ve seen a resurgence of interest in this novel, which introduces us to 28-year-old Swedish Sara, a passionate reader who travels to the town of Broken Wheel, Iowa, to meet her elderly penpal Amy. But when she arrives she learns Amy has died. Finding herself alone, Sara decides to open a bookshop and in doing so is able to bring a new lease of life to the locals. Warmth, compassion and humour abound in this novel which sees Sara receive a warmer reception that poor Florence in The Bookshop.


84 Charing Cross Road

84 Charing Cross Road

Helene Hanff


A much-loved memoir in which 84 Charing Cross Road refers to the address at which Marks & Co, antiquarian booksellers, were formerly found in London. The book is composed of a series of letters between Frank Doel, a bookseller at Marks & Co. and Helene Hanff, a ‘poor writer’ living in New York. Having first written to Marks & Co. in 1949 in search of a list of books, her and Frank became regular correspondents, until his death in the late 1960s. The letters are a wonderful mix of British and American styles, finding common ground in a love of books. A short, evocative read, essential for book and bookshop lovers.


Back to top

Thank you so much for your continued support of Jarrold during these uncertain times

We have taken the decision with a heavy heart to close all our Jarrold stores until further notice from 4pm on Monday 23 March. This will include our online business.

We’ve been in business for 250 years, in good times and bad. But these aren't normal times and we find ourselves in the unique situation where closing our doors is the right thing to do.

If you have purchased something in the last few days and would like a refund, we're sorry that we can’t process refunds whilst we are closed but we are extending our returns policy to 28 days following our reopening.

If you placed an online order before we closed, unless you have been informed otherwise, your order has been dispatched and you should expect it from Friday 27th March onwards.

Our customer services team can be contacted via and we will do our best help you.

We want to keep in touch with you, so will continue to email and post on our social channels to share some things to lift your spirits. Please do follow us @JarroldNorwich on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Warmest wishes,
Minnie and all the Jarrold team