Newham Bookshop logo 1978-2018
Newham Bookshop line drawing

Newham Bookshop celebrates
40 years’ trading in 2018

For news about Newham Bookshop visit our News page.

Visit our Fundraising page for details of our Two Doors Down campaign.

For details of events and to buy tickets, select Events from the menu below.

Tuesday 18 December at 7.30 pm
at The Wanstead Tap

Doreen Fletcher


We welcome the Forest Gate artist discussing the book of her paintings with The Gentle Author.

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Newham Bookshop

745-747 Barking Road
London E13 9ER
Telephone: 020 8552 9993
Twitter blue bird logo @NewhamBookshop
Tuesday – Friday
9.30 am – 5 pm
Saturday 10 am – 5 pm

Discounting to the Death

This article was written in January 2006

Are the big chain bookstores fighting each other to death like retail versions of dinosaurs? Will Borderosaurus Rex kill Waterstonatops; or will they both be devoured by Asdaraptor? There now seems to be a clear divide in the bookselling trade – the large superstores on most high streets and in out-of-town retail parks discounting for all they are worth and their cousins in the pile ’em high, sell ’em cheap world of the supermarket, and behind a bush watching them tear each other apart, a few friendly, intelligent, furry mammals like Newham Bookshop.

Large bookshop chains have been discounting for the last ten years or so, during which time there has undoubtedly been an increase in spending on books by the British public, which has benefited both the chains and independent bookshops. The thing that we, and several commentators, do not understand, is why do they feel they need to discount books that will walk off the shelves because they appeal to the public? Just think about Harry Potter (which we were selling in good numbers before he was spotted by the media), Jamie Oliver (and Delia Smith a few years ago – is she past her sell-by date?) and Dan Brown. Not to mention all those diet, lifestyle and get-rich-quick titles. We know that the chains buy from the publishers in massive quantities and at very low wholesale prices, and we know about loss leaders. But it isn’t the same as grocery – you don’t tend to go to a bookshop with a list, unless it’s Christmas or you’re a student with a reading list. And you won’t get much discount on academic books.

As you know, we have been selling books for 28 years. We hardly make a profit, and rely on the loyalty of you, our customers, and the goodwill of several volunteers. We can’t afford to offer large discounts, but we know that you like the chance to buy your Christmas books at our discount evening. We have just launched our loyalty card – by using this you can get a £10 voucher once you have spent at least £100 with us.

Like many independent bookshops, we have to play to our strengths: personal, committed service; knowledgeable, enthusiastic and friendly staff; and, last but not least, our speaker events and book signings. These events are very popular and we get good support from publishers, for which we are very grateful. Like the mammals, we hope to be around long after the dinosaurs have beaten each other to a pulp.

– David Ceen

Forthcoming events

Tuesday 18 December at 7.30 pm
at The Wanstead Tap

Doreen Fletcher, Paintings
with The Gentle Author

Past events and news

Benjamin Zephaniah
The Life and Rhymes
of Benjamin Zephaniah

in conversation with Cilius Victor

Peggy Seeger
First Time Ever

E. Foley and B. Coates
What Would Boudicca Do?

Bobby Seagull
The Life-Changing Magic of Numbers

Will Ashon
Chamber Music
Enter the Wu-Tang (in 36 Pieces)

Robin Ince
I’m a Joke and So Are You
A Comedian’s Take on
What Makes Us Human

Nicola Streeten and Cath Tate
The Inking Woman

Iain Sinclair
Living with Buildings

1968 and After:
Culture and Education

An evening with
Shami Chakrabarti and Rachel Holmes

Martin Rowson
The Pen is Mightier Than the Word

Ed Vulliamy
When Words Fail

Marcus Sedgwick & Dr Sam George
The Battle of the Books:
Frankenstein v. Dracula

Kenney Jones
Let the Good Times Roll

Ben Okri and special guests
Rise Like Lions

Adam Dant
Maps of London & Beyond

Sarah Ivens
Forest Therapy

Shore 2 Shore
with Carol Ann Duffy
Gillian Clarke, Imtiaz Dharker, Jackie Kay
and Maura Dooley, with music by John Sampson

Viv Albertine
To Throw Away Unopened

Melanie McGrath
Pie & Mash Down the Roman Road
in conversation with Duncan Barrett

James Bloodworth
Six Months Undercover
in Low-Wage Britain

Chris Difford
Full Acoustic Show
Some Fantastic place

Michael Rosen
So They Call You Pisher!

David Hepworth
Uncommon People
The Rise and Fall of the
Rock Stars 1955-1994

Liam Young and Simon Hannah
The Labour Party, past and present

Misha Glenny: McMafia
Seriously Organised Crime

Helen Pankhurst: Deeds Not Words
The Story of Women’s Rights,
Then and Now

Laura James and Jessie Hewitson discuss autism

Literary Natives
Writers of Colour Meet Up

John Davies: The Red Atlas
How the Soviet Union
Secretly Mapped the World

Please look in our Archive,
in the main menu.