Author Louis de Bernieres to visit Kett’s Books in Wymondham

Louis de Bernieres talks at the 2013 King's Lynn Poetry Festival at the Lynn Town Hall. Picture: Mat

Louis de Bernieres talks at the 2013 King's Lynn Poetry Festival at the Lynn Town Hall. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

Organisers of a community-run bookstore have said the visit of world-renowned author Louis de Bernieres to their shop for an event later this month shows that independent retailers are gaining support from the biggest name writers.

The author of Captain Corelli's Mandolin - who lives in Norfolk - will speak and sign copies of his novels at Kett's Books, in Wharton's Court, Wymondham, at 6.30pm on Friday, July 25.

Director Tracy Kenny said: 'We're having a bit of success in authors coming to us because we're a different kind of shop.'

She said independent retailers like Kett's Books offered a 'compelling story, because people want to see the high street succeed'.

She added: 'People like knowing that people have banded together to make something happen.

'Major authors recognise that, are getting behind it and want to show their support for it.'

A new chapter opened in the former Book Fountain unit when Robert Smith announced his decision to retire last year.

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Retired teacher Ray Rumsby, from Little Melton, organised a meeting to ensure the shop's survival and a dedicated team spent five months securing its future by turning it into a community interest company, a form of social enterprise.

Although bookstores have faced competition from the likes of Amazon, Mrs Kenny said the chance to go into an independent store and talk to fellow readers is something that cannot be rivalled.

Of Mr Bernieres' visit, she said: 'People are really impressed, excited and almost surprised because we are only a little store.

'We are giving something back to the community and big authors recognise that.'

However she warned: 'We need the public to support the shop or they will lose it.'

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