Friday, 6 November 2020

Independent bookshop spotlight

During lockdown, I'm running a series of posts from guest writers to highlight their favourite independent bookshops. First up is poet and author Dom Conlon (@dom_conlon on Twitter) with a post about Ebb & Flo Bookshop in Chorley. It sounds absolutely lovely! I'm adding it to my list of places to visit after lockdown.

Ebb & Flo

A bookshop is a safe, sacred place, as embedded in childhood as a garden hidden-hole or grandma’s kitchen. For me, it was Hatchard’s in Manchester. Now long gone but once a collection of book stacks and iron staircases in a slender building on King Street, it’s the sense-memory I reach for whenever I visit a new town. Lucky for me, then, that my home town Chorley contains such a place in Ebb & Flo—a wonky terrace hug of a shop which displays its love in a cavalcade of colour riding out to greet you.

Ebb & Flo packs a lot into a small space. There are nooks in its crannies and no resting place for the eyes until you settle upon the one (or more) books which you didn’t even know you were looking for. Diane, the owner, is both everywhere and nowhere—popping into view when you were just about to ask a question and then fading away when the first few pages of a book take you by the hand.

In these times when mental health can feel secondary to physical health, Ebb & Flo is a balm to both. In the wedge of time between lockdowns it was a breath of fresh air, safe to even the most cautious among us—a lamppost marking the way between worlds.

Thanks so much for sharing, Dom! Ebb and Flo have an online shop or you can email orders to

If you would like to write a post about your favourite bookshop, let me know on Twitter @yaundermyskin

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