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3 March is World Book Day:

OK, so we’ve all got Kindles and computers and iPads and smartphones these days on which to read books, magazines, newspapers and blogs, but there’s something still so engaging about the humble book.

Whether it’s a dusty old classic paperback with dog-eared cover or a brand new, glossy hardback with that lovely new book smell (which is the glue by the way, nothing fancier), a physical book is something to be looked after and cherished.

I don’t *really* mind if my three-year-old throws her clothes around the room or spills spaghetti on the sofa, but if she rips a book, well… The “I’m not angry, I’m disappointed,” drill begins. Why? Because just one generation ago books were a luxury – expensive items that children were lucky to have: beautiful, educational, inspirational.

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While independent bookshops all over the world close at the hands of online purchases, World Book Day (3 March) is one day where we can celebrate those shops (and libraries – don’t forget the libraries) that still exist to sell us – or lend us – a lovely, physical book.

The Holt Bookshop is one such place, situated in the quaintly named Appleyard in the quaint Georgian market town of Holt in North Norfolk. Named one of the best 50 independent bookshops two years running by the Independent, this little shop stocks 12,000 books with many local interest titles as well as a wide range of natural history books.

holt bookshopbanner

Opened by local Norfolk man Stephen Fry in 2005, the shop does more than sells books – celebrating local talent through book signings, readings and events.

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Want to visit (and I highly recommend you do)? Put 6.30pm on 18 March in your diary and meet Norfolk author Christopher Armstrong who will read from his latest offering, Anything From a Pin to an Elephant: Tales of Norfolk Retail. In it he talks about a number of local businesses including Jarrolds department store, Bakers & Larner’s kitchen shop and Roys of Wroxham, the fastidious department store chain located all over the Norfolk Broads.

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So, whatever you do on 3 March, make sure you pick up a book – even if just to smell it!

10 Appleyard, Holt, Norfolk, NR25 6AR. Tel: 01263 715858. holtbookshop.co.uk

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