Age UK Opens New Bookstore in Syston

On Wednesday 13th March, Age UK had a special celebration soiree to open their new Age UK Bookshop at 1306, The Old Bookshop, Melton Road, Syston.
I took a trip down to this event so I could check out what this new bookstore had to offer. It was such a delight to see a new bookstore back in Syston and last time we had a bookstore here, I was only a little girl.
The outside looks beautiful and upon walking into the bookshop, there is a slight rustic aesthetic which is very pleasing to the eye.
On entry, there was an option to have a small glass of fizz and a cake whilst browsing around the shelves of many books, which have all been donated to Age UK. Everyone also had the pleasure of enjoying the musical talents of the Syston Happy Ukulele Band, pictured above.
There is a wide variety of genre and there really is something there for everyone, from children’s books and young adult fiction; to educational study books and home cookbooks.
There is no limit to what can be found in the bookshop and the selection is amazing. I myself will be keeping an eye out for the classic literature on the shelves.
The counter has been beautifully designed with the spines of old books to add more of a rustic bookshop feeling.
I went to have a chat with the Head of Retail of Age UK Leicestershire and Rutland, Nicola Norris and talked to her in more depth about this bookstore and how she and her team brought back the beauty of a bookstore into our town.
“We’ve been looking at opportunities of opening more shops and I know Syston well, because the wonderful Natalie runs the shop down the road.
This unit became available, I saw the signs on the outside, so I went to Tony and said this is the perfect opportunity for opening a second shop in syston which I’ve been trying to do for a while. Then we saw the old bookshop sign above it and thought, it needs to be a Bookshop.”
Natalie, Who runs the Age UK store further into the town, mentioned that herself and Nicola had even been in contact with the founder of the original Bookshop.
“Eric Vardy actually contacted Nicola and myself just to say, I’m so proud to have it back to Syston”
Natalie has even had an influx of interest from people wanting to volunteer and in the space of a week has taken on new 10 volunteers.
Nicola then went on to talk more about the bookshop itself as well as what the opportunity means to Age UK and what it means to Syston.
“When people buy a book from us, all of that money stays local. It goes into Age UK Leicestershire and Rutland, so it stays within the county. Then we are asking people, when they finish reading the book, to re-donate it so the book gets recycled again and someone else can read it.
We will provide services here too, so we’ll be an information service for Age UK and then people can come in and talk to us and find out what Age UK does locally which is great.”
We even had a discussion on how long it took for them to get from the initial idea to the opening of the shop and I am honestly baffled at how quick everything came about for the bookshop.
Nicola continued: “The initial idea, was probably about two months. I said to Tony I really want to have this bookshop because I love the outside of it.”
Nicola’s final comments were that she hopes the bookstore will be the first place people think of if anyone needs or wants a book. She has some very high hopes for this bookshop and I agree with her that it is definitely a shop that Syston needs in the community. Sometimes you just can’t beat a good book!
The bookshop officially opened on the 14th March and will be open at the following times:
Monday to Saturday – 9.00am to 4.00pm
Sunday -11.00am to 4.00pm
Article & Photographs by Deanna Johnson