Regional bookshop win for Folde

A SHAFTESBURY bookshop, which specialises in nature writing, has been named as the best independent book retailer in the South West. FOLDE Dorset has won the British Book Awards Independent Bookshop of the Year competition for the South West, organised by The Bookseller magazine and judged by a prestigious panel of industry specialists, authors, journalists and celebrities.

Situated on Gold Hill, the Shaftesbury shop was praised for “practising what they preach” and for being a bookshop with “sustainability at its heart, with purposeful practice and meaningful conversations surrounding sustainability every day.”

Karen Brazier, co-founder of FOLDE, says: “We’re still processing the news. There were some very impressive shops in the South West finals, some of which have been around for much longer than us. It’s a huge accolade.”

Co-founder Amber Harrison agrees: “To be recognised by our industry for what we do is an amazing endorsement. We’re grateful to everyone who supports us.”

FOLDE Dorset opened in April 2021 after Brazier and Harrison quit their corporate jobs to pursue their dream of opening a bookshop that would champion nature and encourage people to engage more fully with the natural world. Both live in Shaftesbury and describe their award-winning shop as a “hub within the town for conversation and community”. In addition to running the bookshop, the pair host a regular programme of evening author events at Shaftesbury’s Grosvenor Arms.

Tom Tivnan, The Bookseller’s managing editor, said: “This has been among the most competitive Independent Bookshop of the Year judging since the award was conceived, not just in the record number of overall submissions, but in the sheer quality of every shop that entered. Getting down to these nine regional and country winners was a very difficult process.”

FOLDE Dorset is now in contention for the overall Independent Bookshop of the Year Award, which will be announced at The British Book Awards ceremony at Grosvenor House London on 13th May. The overall Independent Bookshop of the Year winner will also compete to be crowned Book Retailer of the Year.

Pictured: Amber Harrison and Karen Brazier of FOLDE Dorset.