Newham Bookshop logo (2015)
Newham Bookshop line drawing

Now at 743-745 Barking Road

Come and see
our new Bookshop!


Events information and tickets:
select Events from the menu below or in the Forthcoming Events column on the right.

Monday 25 February
– Monday 11 March
across Newham’s libraries

Newham Word Festival

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Click for details of author events.

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Newham Bookshop

743-745 Barking Road
London E13 9ER
Telephone: 020 8552 9993
info@newhambooks.co.uk
www.newhambooks.co.uk
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


Friday 22 February at 7.30 pm
at The Wanstead Tap

Luke Turner
Out of the Woods

Tuesday 26 February at 7 pm
at Forest Gate Library

Newham Word Festival logo
Asian Noir:
the new wave of crime fiction

Wednesday 27 February at 7 pm
at Stratford Library

Newham Word Festival logo
Regeneration Songs

Thursday 28 February at 7 pm
at Plaistow Library

Newham Word Festival logo
Kate Thompson
and Melanie McGrath

Monday 4 March at 7 pm
at Canning Town Library

Newham Word Festival logo
Duncan Barrett
Hitler’s British Isles

Tuesday 5 March at 7 pm
at East Ham Library

Newham Word Festival logo
Suresh Singh
with Stef Dickers

Wednesday 6 March at 7 pm
at Forest Gate Library

Newham Word Festival logo
Bobby Seagull
The Life-Changing Magic of Numbers

Thursday 7 March at 7 pm
at Stratford Library

Newham Word Festival logo
Michael Rosen
with Danny Braverman

Thursday 14 March at 7.30 pm
at The Wanstead Tap

Lucinda Gosling
Shirley Baker and Vintage Britain

Friday 15 March at 7.30 pm
at The Wanstead Tap

Robert Elms
London Made Us
A Memoir of a Shape-Shifting City

Past events and news


Danny Dorling
Rule Britannia
Brexit and the End of Empire

Doreen Fletcher, Paintings
with The Gentle Author

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
Hired
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.