Our social media cover star: Miles at BookWyrm

Opened in July, Durham’s BookWyrm is the creation of Miles and husband Chris, and focuses on indie authors, small press, and LGBTQ+ books.

One of the joys of Durham Market Hall is its brilliant mix of long-established traders and interesting newbies, which between them offer pretty much everything you might need to ever buy.

Following on from our previous Market Hall cover stars, we’re delighted to now feature one of 2022’s new arrivals: Miles from specialist bookshop BookWyrm!

Opened in July last year, BookWyrm is the creation of Miles and his husband Chris, and focuses on indie authors – including Miles himself! – small press, and books with an LGBTQ+ focus.

More than that, though, BookWyrm is what the owners have described as a “warm, welcoming and whimsical safe space”, and a place that already hosted author signings, book readings and other events. BookWyrm is not just a shop – it’s the heart of its own vibrant and supportive community.

Miles has also built up a following for his tiny but adorable miniature clay figures – which you can see in the picture, and are often inspired by characters in his books and zines – and if you’re lucky you’ll see him busily creating them when you visit the shop!

At Indie Durham City, we have been thrilled to promote and champion BookWyrm right from its early days on Twitter in September 2021, when a bricks-and-mortar shop was still a dream!

Over the course of our project so far, we’ve learnt that offering free help and support even before a business has opened in the city is a sure-fire way to make that dream more likely to become a reality, and we always encourage any independent business thinking about trading in Durham to get in touch with us¬†at an early stage.

In BookWyrm’s case, we were especially delighted to highlight the New Futures bookshop programme to Chris and Miles – an initiative launched by Bookshop.org and The Booksellers Association (BA) in autumn 2021, and designed to encourage people from underrepresented communities to open their own new independent bookshop. BookWyrm did fantastic to make the final shortlist of the competition, and we know that the support from the New Futures programme played a valuable part in inspiring Miles and Chris to keep pushing forward with their plans.

With independent bookshop Collected also opening its doors at The Riverwalk in 2022, it’s wonderful that we now have enough venues in the city for book-loving visitors to enjoy a proper bookshop crawl! Along with BookWyrm, you can bring in the two Waterstones, the Market Hall’s secondhand book specialist The Book Emporium, the book-focused Oxfam on Elvet Bridge, and the volunteer-run radical bookstore, The People’s Bookshop, in Saddlers Yard, meaning there’s more than enough to keep a printed word enthusiast occupied for a few hours.

BookWyrm is active across social media, so do be sure to follow their updates on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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