Monday, 15 September 2014

Bookshop A Day #13: Niche Comics

On the run up to release of The Bookshop Book on the 2nd October, I'm going to be blogging about a bookshop every day to celebrate wonderful bookshops and booksellers all around the world. (#bookshopaday). Today I want to tell you about the, quite frankly brilliant:

Niche Comics, Huntingdon, UK

I'm going to hand you over to Angela, to tell you all about it.

"Hello Jen!

"I wanted to tell you about our bookshop – set up to give two lads with Asperger’s Syndrome a satisfying experience of work, where they could engage with customers and manage their own workplace.

"Both my sons - Adam and Guy - had Statements and excellent Learning Support at School, then Adam went on to get a degree in Philosophy and his career prospects seemed limited to casual work and I expect if public sector administration jobs were still around he would be well set up.

"Adam suggested a comic shop and we laughed out loud then looked into the options and realised that really it is a community in itself, with all indies supporting each other. The shop they're now in happened to come up on the market, and with a legacy from grandma it took off. They had the support of a business link advisor and some friends of the family who ran their own businesses. That lasted about a year whilst the shop was renovated (Guy did a lot of the labouring himself!) and they went on lots of courses and workshops run by Business Link and HMRC etc.

"So the decision to set up in business wasn’t taken lightly. They used their own savings to buy the stock. They are lucky in not having to pay rent and business rates but have managed to stay in the black. They are now into their 3rd year and turning over a profit, as well as loving what they do with a growing customer base.

"The bookshop sells new comics, books including lots of graphic novels, table top games and Games Workshop. The shop was originally built in 1573 so has all the charm of a Tudor shop with its timber frame and original features still very much in evidence.

"Adam and Guy do all the orders, finances and running the shop themselves, with a bit of help on the social media and events side. They get groups from the local special needs school and Mencap home coming regularly as well as links with the local schools who buy books and events such as World Book Day.

"Many customers are local and cover all ages. The shop was designed to be a welcoming and safe place for everyone in the community.

"It's so good to see a business run by young people putting their stamp on their community, enjoying and sharing their passion for books and reading."


  1. This place sounds amazing--what a terrific story behind it!

  2. Absolutely marvellous - the sort of "we can do it" thing we ALL need to hear more about.

  3. My brother is autistic and I worry about what he will do for a job and basic living needs. This story gives me hope and also suggests that channeling something he enjoys will give him the best start. Great story, can't wait to read the book :)