All power to Word Power Books!
For Independent Bookshop Week we've teamed up with 5 of our favourite independent radical booksellers, which we will be profiling on our blog all week. We've also given them Verso Books filled tote bags for you to pick up in their shops on the Independent Bookshop Crawl on Saturday 27th June. See here for more details on how you can get your hands on one!
Word Power Books is our bookshop of the day!
43-45 West Nicolson Street, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH8 9DB
Word Power Books has been serving its radical book-hungry customers for over twenty years now. Booker Prize-Winner James Kelman formally opened the shop on 1 December 1994, and a plaque above the door commemorates this grand occasion. With a Banksy artwork on its door, even the façade of Word Power Books is worth a visit!
They actively support small, independent, and Left publishers and writers (and have a great selection of Verso titles!), and their range of books on Scottish politics has never been stronger. They understand that the world of books is a precious resource – in their words, “books are not commodities to be marketed on the shelves alongside baked beans.” Word Power Books’ range of books offers readers a fast-track entryway into the world of non-mainstream publishing, positioning titles of small presses, new writers with no prior sales history and individuals producing their own zines alongside more well-known titles on their shelves, and giving an equal voice to all.
Word Power Books also run a worldwide online service, which offers a great alternative to sites such as Amazon. While their site offers customers access to all books in print in the UK, they remain committed to promoting literature beyond the mainstream thereby making it more accessible and helping to support small presses and new writers. Through their website they also provide Platform, a regular column for groups, campaigns or individuals to post articles and foster debate, and a Noticeboard where visitors can post information and details of events. They are able to ship books around the world, and also publish and organise lots of free events including the Edinburgh Book Fringe in August and the Edinburgh Independent & Radical Book Fair, now in its 19th year (28th October - 1st Nov 2015) where Verso authors will attend.
You can read the fantastic things that many different writers have said about Word Power Books here, including Linton Kwesi Johnson’s: “Word Power is a unique platform where poetry and politics can co-exist.” High praise indeed. Go and visit them if you're ever in Auld Reekie!
You can visit them online here, and if you pop into Word Power on Saturday 27th you can pick up your own VERSO TOTE BAG filled with VERSO GOODIES! (whilst stocks last. More info here)