'We had to take a chance': Bookshop defies the odds and launches in lockdown

Emily Casson has launched Books and Crannies in Beccles. 

Emily Casson has launched Books and Crannies in Beccles. - Credit: Books and Crannies

An independent bookshop has opened in a market town despite the pandemic - with its new owners determined to make it a success despite the challenges of 2020. 

The keys to new second hand book shop Books and Crannies were handed to Emily Casson just days before the second lockdown announced, but the mum-of-one refused to give up on her dream of "doing something she loved".

The Beccles-based bookseller said: "I had been working in the museum industry, which has been very hard hit during the pandemic. I've always loved books and reading and my partner and I went into a book shop on my birthday. As we walked around I said to him: 'I would love to have my own book shop' and he just said 'Do something you love, let's do it.'"

Brooks and Crannies in Beccles. Picture: Books and Crannies

Brooks and Crannies in Beccles. - Credit: Books and Crannies

Ms Casson opened the shop for click and collect during lockdown and said the response from the business and local community alike had been overwhelmingly positive. 

"There were a few moments where I was panicking and wondering what we were doing. We put our own savings into this - which we had thought of using to buy a house - because we didn't want to take out a business loan in such uncertain times. Our click and collect service went really well though so we're hopeful about sales moving forward. 

Books and Crannies interior.

Inside Beccles' new second hand book store. - Credit: Books and Crannies

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"It's so important for people to shop local at a time like this. We've seen a lot of big businesses being lost during the pandemic and the same will go for smaller shops if we're not careful. Here in Beccles it's basically all smaller retailers but our high streets will start looking the same if independents aren't backed and it's all taken on by chains."

Ms Casson will be working in the shop from Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm.

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She said: "I would like to employ someone if it's feasible down the line so I can have a bit more time off, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it."

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