Housmans bookshop is a Kings Cross institution. The shop at 5 Caledonian Road (map) has an amazing history as a flag bearer for the peace movement, sexual equality and the green agenda. It also sells some great fiction and the friendly, knowledgable staff are a change from the bored ‘threefortwo’ pushers who inhabit bookshop chains. Housman’s also offers creative writing courses and a great programme of talks. They have an amazing range of stationery too.
At a time when the American government is nationalising banks the need for a radical bookshop is acute. But Housman’s is in trouble – the recession is biting and i suspect it has been hit by the lack of passing trade following the closure of the Thameslink Station on Pentonville Road. Nik from Housman’s says:
‘the shop is still not yet fully viable. Just as the planning blight on the King’s Cross area has been lifted and everyone’s hopes raised, the current recession has hit Housmans (as other retailers) very hard. Unless we can continue to expand our customer and supporter base substantially and quickly we will not last for another year.’
Housman’s wants to trade its way out of trouble – so spread the word and drop in to buy books, stamps, printer cartridges, tea or coffee. You can buy books the old fashioned way – over the phone – 020-7837 4473 – or by post – drop them an email by clicking here. You can also donate (click here – a paypal donate button is halfway down the page) or give your time as a volunteer – contact Nik by email. Thanks to Patric and Sarah for tipping me off to the issues.