Birmingham has been home to some of the world’s best writers like J.R.R. Tolkein, Steven Knight, Lee Child, Kit de Waal - and of course William Shakespeare lived just up the road in Stratford-Upon-Avon.
And it’s also home to some amazing independent bookshops - along with the huge Waterstones in the city centre - which are like cornerstones of their community.
And, whether you are a reader or not - it’s always great to support the local businesses around us. In exchange, the bookshops provide us with creative nourishment.
For Independent Bookshop Week - which is from June 17-24 June 2023 across the UK and Ireland - bookshops around Birmingham have some amazing events lined up, including workshops and meets and greets with famous authors.
So, here are the nine independent bookshops in Birmingham that are a must-visit and the events they are hosting for Independent Bookshop Week:
1. The Bookshop on the Green, Bournville
The Bookshop on the Green is hosting a very special outdoor Story Time on Bournville Village Green with local storyteller Anna O’Brien and The Gruffalo from 10:00-10:45am on Friday, June 16. Bournville Hub are running a free book swap at the shop on Saturday, June 17 from 9:00-11:00am, and you can discover the rich history of two of Birmingham’s oldest buildings in a fun-packed event at Selly Manor Museum on the same day. There will be performances, costumes, music, dance and so much more. The bookmark trail will end at the bookshop where there will be further creative activities for children. Award-winning writer and head gardener Ben Dark will be in conversation with Sarah Mullen on Sunday, June 18. A talk by Winterbourne curator Henrietta Lockhart will take place at Selly Manor Museum on Monday, June 19 from 7:30-8:30pm. The Bookshop on the Green, Chapter Restaurant and Lux Art Gallery jointly host a delicious Literary Lunch on Wednesday, June 21 with bestselling authors Jo Browning-Wroe, who wrote A Terrible Kindness, and Ned Palmer, cheesemonger and author of A Cheesemonger’s History of the British Isles and A Cheesemonger’s Compendium of British & Irish Cheese. Natalie Haynes will be in conversation with Robert Douglas-Fairhurst on Thursday, June 22 from 7:30-9:00pm. The bookshop is hosting an Afternoon Tea on Friday, June 23 at 3:00pm with bestselling author and all-round great guy Mike Gayle as they celebrate 25 years of Mike publishing wonderful books.
2. The Heath, King’s Heath
The Heath Bookshop will be having their third fashion talk on Saturday, June 17, curated by the brilliant local art and fashion historian, Sally Chidlow. Sally will be talking about the late Mary Quant, Singer/songwriter and guitarist Call Me Unique, and will be back at The Heath Bookshop at 8pm on Monday 20th June. The bookshop will also welcome Costa-Winning, Women’s Prize shortlisted author of Unsettled Ground, Claire Fuller to Kings Heath on Saturday 24th June from 6:00-7:30pm.
3. How Brave is the Wren, Kings Heath
Located on York Road, the traveling bookshop will host campfire stories with Ian Douglas on Saturday, June 17. How Brave is the Wren will hold their weekly Friday morning story time session on Friday 23rd June at 10:15 am. This session is aimed at 1–4-year-olds but all ages are welcome. They read three books per week. (Photo - Unsplash/Tom Hermans)
4. Voce Books, Digbeth
Located in The Warehouse on Allison Street in Digbeth has several events. Author Ben Waddington & co-owner of Voce Books, Clive Judd will delve deeper into the selection process for the book 111 Places in Birmingham That You Shouldn’t Miss, the recurring motives & motifs in Ben’s work, &, the greater story of the great city: Birmingham on June 17. Voce Books has organised an evening with Jeremy Cooper – author of the heartachingly moving part-Sparkhillset novel Bolt from the Blue – as he talks to writer & film-maker Adam Scovell about his new paean to art & film Brian on June 21 at 7:00-8:30pm. Celebrating their 15th year of publishing some of the most exciting new & emerging poets, the wonderful Midlands-based Nine Arches Press has organised an evening of poetry at Voce Books exploring all the kaleidoscopic ways human life collides with the natural world.(Photo - Google Maps)