It’s a tough life for an independent book seller on the high street – so one children’s bookshop has ditched the traditional bricks and mortar setting to try their hand at selling books on a boat.
Telling Tales was set up three years ago as an online bookshop specialising in illustrated kids books before making the switch to physical premises when owner Daisy Hollings moved into a London Fields office previously used by husband Jon Gedny.
After two years the couple found themselves at a crossroads: go ahead and make the new use of the space official or seek out a new location.
That was when Jon came up with the “crazy” idea to build a boat and, after more than a year spent creating the bespoke 60ft x 12ft vessel, they took delivery of the water-borne bookshop last month.
The boat features nooks for kids to read books as well as a coffee machine to allow Daisy to host coffee mornings – it’s designed to be a space to spend time in as well as browsing and buying.
“We didn’t really want to be another bookshop along the high street,” she told The Big Issue. “We wanted to be something slightly different but we also realised how much we had become a part of the community. We wanted to keep that ethos where people can come in not just to buy a book but also come in and just talk to us about books they like, or to our storytellings, or have a coffee morning. We wanted to keep that vibe.”