Daventry bookshop wins award four months after opening

Five people wearing lanyards and standing outside a bookshopSuddenly on Sheaf Street

A book shop that opened just four months ago has won a national award.

Suddenly on Sheaf Street in Daventry, Northamptonshire, has been named “Newcomer of the Year” in the National Book Tokens awards.


The store is the first independent bookshop in the town for several years and has staged arts and drama events as well as selling books.

The manager, Joanna Clements, said: “We have been blown away by the amazing reception we’ve had locally.”

Ground floor of bookshop showing people drinking from glasses and looking at books

Suddenly on Sheaf Street

Suddenly on Sheaf Street opened at the end of August 2023 in a 16th-Century building in a pedestrianised shopping street.

“The response to a new bookshop has been like an oasis in the desert,” Ms Clements added.

“We had a truly phenomenal first Christmas period, with lots of shoppers from the town centre and the surrounding villages.”

The award is judged on the number of book tokens sold or redeemed by the store and 51 bookshops were competing for the title of “Newcomer of the Year”.

Clear star-shaped plaque showing newcomer of the year

Suddenly in Sheaf Street

Lisa Bywater, from National Book Tokens, said: “The local response in Daventry and beyond to the opening of Suddenly On Sheaf Street is the perfect demonstration of the necessity of bookshops on our high streets: not only for the vital business of bookselling and the joys of reading for pleasure, but also as hubs for community, creativity and innovation.”

The store has organised a number of events in its first few months, including performances relating to Sherlock Holmes and Charles Dickens.

It also hosted the Christmas edition of the BBC Radio Northampton Breakfast Show.

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Related Topics

  • Daventry
  • Books
  • UK High Streets

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